3 Habits for Highly Effective Meetings

Effective Meetings

3 Habits for Highly Effective Meetings

1. Obtain written agenda in advance
Vague intentions to have a discussion on a topic rarely end on a productive note. If you are just getting started with agendas, start with a point-form list of topics to be discussed and make sure that material is provided to attendees at least one day before the meeting. For better results, provide background information on the agenda so that everyone attending has the same information. What about when you are asked to attend a meeting without an agenda? Ask, “Can you please send me an agenda for the meeting so that I can prepare?”

Tip: For frequently held meetings such as a weekly status meeting on a project, you can save time by creating a meeting template. Once you have that in place, preparing an agenda becomes a matter of filling in the blanks.

2. Manage the meeting by the clock.
Watching the clock is important in an effective meeting. When nobody takes charge of managing time, it is easy to become careless and unfocused. Remember – when people attend a meeting, they cannot do anything else. Make the time count!

For Meeting Organisers: starting the meeting on time and ending on time (or a few minutes early!) will enhance your reputation as an organised person. If you are running a large or complex meeting, ask a colleague to serve as timekeeper.

For Meeting Attendees: start by arriving 5 mins early at the meeting and 1-2 mins early for conference calls.

3. Use The “Parking Lot” To Manage Off Topic Discussions
The parking lot serves to keep to the stated agenda. Second, the parking lot acknowledges important points raised by attendees.

Warning: The Parking Lot habit must be combined with the Follow
Up habit if you wish to be truly effective.

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