As you install systems and processes to scale*, group meetings can efficiently convey information at a wider scale.
Done right, meetings are valuable. Done wrong, they’re painful.
For more productive and informative meetings, follow these steps:
· Send an agenda beforehand, at least one business day. If there is going to be a presentation, send that too. Attendees can review and spend the full meeting participating instead of processing new information.
· If attendees are unfamiliar to each other, share something about them with the agenda so the meeting can concentrate on objectives. You may ask new attendees to bring one #funfact or offer social time afterwards.
· Start by explaining the reasons for gathering. Be clear what you hope to accomplish by the meeting’s end.
· Prioritize topics and tackle the most important ones first. Having lose time limits helps keep the meeting flowing. If items are not covered, be clear when they will be discussed.
· Ensure everyone has a chance to contribute. Encourage people to send questions beforehand. Seek feedback afterwards (e.g. “what’s a way the meeting could have been better?) to incorporate many contributions.
· Record notes throughout the meeting. Usually, it’s best if the main speaker or facilitator does not take notes since they’re busy. Send the notes that day and ask for any missed items or clarifications.
· Articulate decisions and next steps at the end. Make sure every next step has only one owner, so responsibility is clear, and when and how the group can expect an update.
Group meetings are not the time to check on individual development and mental health – rely on recurring and impromptu 1:1s since those topics are important to cover deeply.
An unproductive meeting can be deflating and wasteful.
Meetings should have an impact on growing the business. Think if a smaller group or online exchange can better solve an issue.
Leaders who value others' time are messaging that they believe in both business growth and personal respect.
A small investment in meeting preparation and format will raise the bar for stronger collaboration and productivity.
* The post on Systems and Processes can be found here: https://bit.ly/2V59boW
Photo by Christina Morillo who can be found here: https://bit.ly/3xx6Y4l