How do you manage meetings in your organization? Stop and do a quick assessment listing all the critical meetings taking place currently on your team. Next, answer these questions:
- Why is each meeting taking place?
- What is the outcome expected from each meeting?
- Who is leading or facilitating each meeting?
- How does each meeting help reinforce your mission, values, culture, and key metrics for success?
If you don’t know the answer to these questions, there is a high probably that your meetings are wasting organizational time and energy and not taking you far. There is also a high probably that team members dread meetings!
Meetings are one of the most strategic decisions you will make as a leader. Meetings can be a driving force for developing people, advancing opportunities, and solving challenges effectively. They can reinforce mission, values, and operational milestones serving to guard alignment and anchor a culture. Meetings can also become a waste of time and an organizational drain rather than an organizational accelerator.Meetings can become a waste of time rather than an organizational accelerator. Click To Tweet
What makes the difference? Doing the upfront work before a meeting is critical for meeting success.
Here are 4 questions you need to answer before you schedule a meeting?
- When the meeting is over, what will be the take-away?
Clarify the objective of the meeting first. Establish the definition of success. I think it is even good to write it down. If you can’t clarify the objective or define success than you can be sure no one coming to the meeting can either. Do you have a problem to solve and you need others to weigh in to reach a plan of action to address? Do you have new market analysis and customer feedback that you need others to learn so they can apply to their areas? Are you seeing amazing results in an area and you want to identify the why to continue to grow? Do you need to work on new initiatives for the future? Set the why of the meeting and communicate it to those attending.
- Who needs to be at the meeting and why?
Take the time to intentionally think about the who of a meeting? If you can’t answer why each person needs to be there, then they shouldn’t be at the meeting. Don’t waste their time or the team’s time. There is nothing more draining than having an unengaged person in a meeting. Those coming should contribute to the specifics of the meeting agenda and also to the meeting outcome.
- Who leads each meeting and are they equipped to lead?
Pay attention to who is leading your meetings and make sure they have the tools and experience to lead. They need to know how to define success, set clear objectives, develop a plan for the meeting, prioritize time to accomplish key outcomes, and lead the dialogue and input of those at the meeting. A well-trained and equipped leader will make all the difference in the success of a meeting. It isn’t an effective meeting when one leader dominates and controls the entire meeting time. That is called a “speech” not a meeting. It is also a disaster when the person leading isn’t guarding the agenda and the time but rather lets the meeting be derailed by a dominate person or drift from the intended objective. It takes an effective leader to lead an effective meeting.
- Are your meetings developing future leaders?
Don’t miss the opportunity to bring in key individuals to listen, learn, and to even present at meetings. Well-run and well-planned meetings are an excellent opportunity for leadership development. Planning ahead for meetings allows you to include and plan for leadership development. Presenting in small meeting forums is an excellent stepping stone to bigger presentations in front of larger groups. The ability to communicate and present with excellence is a discipline needed for any leadership role.
How you lead meetings will set the tone for your entire organization. Use your meetings strategically to keep mission alignment, focus on key outcomes, and develop new leaders all to build a strong and sustainable organization for the years to come.How you lead meetings will set the tone for your entire organization. Are your meetings effective? Click To Tweet
“There is profit in all hard work, but endless talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:26
What question would you add to help make meetings more effective?