- Have you ever been stuck in meeting after meeting and feel like nothing is getting done?
- You’re spending so much time in meetings that you don’t have time to do your work!
- Are you someone trying to do absolutely everything yourself?
‘Meeting Bloody Meetings’ is an old classic business film where John Cleese (yes, the British comedian) educates the corporate world on how to run effective meetings. I remember it was part of my training in the early 1990s when I was with Hewlett Packard. It’s funny how some things stick with you.
Here are some tips for getting the most of your meetings.
1. Always have a purpose or goal for the meeting
If you have a reasonable plan for the meeting, you will know whether the meeting was successful. This is also helpful to determine who needs to be in the meeting. Here are some meetings you could be attending:
- Update meetings – these meetings typically require the entire team to be present to ensure everyone is in sync and understands all the issues. The goal is usually to create an action plan of who is doing what by when
- Resolution meetings – the purpose of these meetings is to solve a problem. These are typically brainstorming sessions to get creative solutions. If not all the facts are present, then multiple meetings may need to take place
- Sales/marketing meetings – these meetings are typically to gather information to understand the client’s needs and see if there is a match for the solution.
- Education – these meetings are typically to educate someone on a topic.
2. Respect time and stay on topic
As the facilitator of the meeting, you are responsible for staying on time. I know sometimes people get off-topic. Depending on the situation and the type of meeting you are in, it might be appropriate to say, “We seem to be getting off-topic. Perhaps we can discuss this outside of this meeting,” or perhaps it’s a new action item on the agenda!
If you will go over in time, make sure everyone agrees to go over and adjusts accordingly.
3. Take minutes
People have short memories and can’t remember what they committed to! Either take notes or assign someone to be the minute taker. The most crucial part of running the meeting is to make sure it is clearly defined WHO will do WHAT by WHEN.
Taking notes is one thing, but the most important is sending out the notes promptly! This ensures there is clear communication and everyone knows what they need to do. Sometimes it’s just a matter of sending out a simple email with all the notes on it.
A well-run meeting will save you time in the long run. Everyone will understand the expectations, and things will get done faster with less misunderstanding.
If you are having trouble incorporating effective meetings with your team, contact us for a free consultation.