Here is our checklist to help you manage an effective meeting. Think about what’s needed before, during and after to get the most from your valuable time.
This is one of our Manage in a Minute pages. These contain essential tips on fundamental management topics. No fuss or side-tracks, they get straight to the point.
Here, in a series of bullet points which can be read in a minute (ish!), are some essential tips on how to run an effective meeting.
An Effective Meeting: the Basics
Before the meeting:
Ensure you really need the meeting;
Set specific, realistic, achievable goals;
Prepare and distribute an agenda and any (necessary) supporting documentation;
Issue a start and finish time for the meeting;
Estimate time for agenda items in advance;
Invite only key people, not everybody you can think of;
During the Meeting
Start on time;
Keep the group on track;
Make decisions, don’t just air views;
Summarize and record decisions;
Keep people involved – remember they are there for a reason;
Control dominating characters;
End on time.
After the Meeting
Send minutes to participants;
Follow-up on agreed actions;
Debrief with key figures;
Assess the content of the meeting – what came out of it;
Assess the process of the meeting – what needs to change from it.
Manage Both Process and Content
The content of the meeting is:
Why the meeting has been called;
What needs to be be done;
Who should do it;
When should it be done;
What information is needed.
The process of the meeting is ensuring that:
People’s interactions are managed;
Contributions are shared around the group;
Agreement is active not passive;
Digressions are managed;
Decisions are made using fair decision making processes.
An Effective Meeting in a Minute?
Meetings should really be about the meeting of minds, from which purposeful results follow. Hopefully these ideas will get you on the way to running effective meetings.
If you do have the time to read more on this topic, follow the full discussion in our article: Effective Meetings. Or here are some more useful tips from the New York Times.
Tools to make the most of your time
If you want some practical tips and tools to better manage your time, go to our guide Managing Time and Priority. The guide expands on the tips in this article and includes some excellent tools to help you eradicate time wasters. It will help you to:
Assess your time priorities and manage your actions.
Develop coping strategies to avoid the limitations of “busyness”.
Manage the impact of other people’s demands on your time.
Develop approaches to “getting things done”.
Apply practical tools to managing priorities and time, to get the right things done.
Help others to manage their time.
Tool 1: Commitments summary
Tool 2: Time log
Tool 3:Time analysis
Tool 4: Time planning with task filters
Tool 5: Task priorities