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Do these three things...

Are you tired of unproductive meetings?


How many times have you been in a meeting that just rambles on without a clear purpose? Or was in a meeting that could have clearly been handled in an email? Or even worse, a meeting you’re leading where it spirals and no progress on the original topic was made?


I’ve been in and led all of these. I’ve commiserated with my friends and colleagues about it. I can assure you, these issues will not all go away. They just come with being part of a team or organization.


Not to fret though...

I’ve gathered the top three things I believe you can do to have your meeting attendees walk away feeling productive.

Tip #1 - Make sure you have the right people in the room.


It’s important that you invite the people who truly need to be in the meeting. These are the people that are needed to move whatever topic you are covering forward. Be precise with this. If they are not able to truly help with the objective they shouldn’t be there. Be sure to make sure EVERYONE gets an opportunity to be heard. They are in attendance because their input is needed. Sometimes we invite folks to a meeting so that you can stay informed on something. If that’s the case, save them time and send them the detailed meeting notes.


Tip #2 - Have an agenda and share it before the meeting.


This seems like a no-brainer, I’ve been in many meetings without an agenda where only half of the intended outcomes are addressed and then another meeting is scheduled to address the rest. Simply: an agenda helps to maximize the effectiveness of your meeting. Based on my experience these are the must-have elements of an effective agenda.

  • Attendee list: Include the names of the meeting attendees, their titles and roles in the meeting.

  • Meeting purpose or objective: Clearly state the purpose of the meeting. What is the intended outcome? What are you hoping to achieve? What does success look like for everyone attending?

  • Meeting timing: Document the length of the meeting. Also include time estimates for each agenda item.

  • Agenda items: An overview of what topics you’ll be discussing, order the agenda with the priority items first.


Tip #3 - Check out with clear next steps.


This is a must in all the meetings I convene and facilitate. Ideally throughout the meeting, someone has been taking detailed notes and capturing action items. These action items should be summarized at the end and assigned to the appropriate person with a due date. Another approach that I’ve found helpful is for each person in attendance to name their top 2-3 actions along with a due date for each action.


Bonus Tip - Be kind when scheduling.

Avoid scheduling meetings first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon if you can. Give people some time to settle into their day. And avoid burnout by scheduling them at the end of their day.

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I’ve hosted, led, facilitated and participated in many, many, many meetings. I hope these resonated with you.


If you’d like to tackle meeting monotony and whatever else has you stuck or feeling unfocused, join me for a free Focus Session between now and June 18th. Click here to book your Zoom session here.


Sincerely, your clutter-canceling creative catalyst,

Denise

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