Creating an atmosphere that allows for productivity and creativity can be challenging. Be intentional about making your next meeting more useful by incorporating the following tips:
- Have the Right Individual Leading: Without the right person to "run" a meeting, focus can be derailed quickly. You need someone who can politely and firmly facilitate discussion to ensure productivity.
- Start on Time: Starting on time sets a professional tone and shows respect to those who arrive on time. Remember, starting late means you are going to finish late and can disrespect attendees time.
- Have an Agenda: An agenda is the "plan" for the meeting. Each individual attending should be given a copy of the agenda. Know what action items need to be resolved (who, what, when, where). Make sure that you have enough time to do the things that need to get done during the time allotted. Do not over-fill your agenda!
Facilitate, Don't Dictate: Part of running a meeting is making sure that you encourage good feedback from the people attending. Do not waste your opportunity to brainstorm and get collective minds focused on the job at hand.
- Review Action Items: Summarize and review what was decided and note any action items (who, what, when, where).
- Always, Always Follow-Up: Discussing something and then leaving it undone defeats the purpose of meeting in the first place. Be sure to follow-up with people who need to be followed up with after the meeting.
Remember, time is a valuable asset. If you are going to take the time to meet, then you should be prepared to make the most of that time.