How to have an effective meeting
As a business leader, you are responsible for keeping your employees on the same page and to help them discover their skills and make the most of them. A great way to help your employees is to hold meetings. How can you hold an effective meeting? It begins with your ability to plan the meeting ahead of time and to be prepared. Here are some tips to follow when you are holding a meeting:
Tip # 1 - Do we really need to meet?
Sometimes managers get obsessed with meetings and you can easily answer these questions in an email or a phone call. Don't hold pointless meetings, especially when you know that your employees are on a tight deadline and every minute is precious to them. A weekly staff meeting is important as it allows you to see where everyone is at with their goals and you can lay out a schedule for the week. Try to keep the meeting short and give each employee a few minutes to give you an update on their progress and move on.
Tip # 2 - Prepare an agenda
Another way to hold an effective meeting is to prepare an agenda for the meeting. Hand out the agenda before the meeting so your employees can bring the information you need ready during the meeting. The agenda will help you stay on time and it keeps everyone focused on the meeting. Try to avoid going off the agenda as this can lead to lengthy conversations and push a 30 minute meeting into a 60 minute meeting and you may neglect to cover some of the important things during the meeting.
Tip # 3 - Be in control
You are the manager and you are in control of the meeting. Don't allow all those red personalities that work for you to talk over you in the meeting. Command the meeting and make sure everyone knows you are in control. There may be times when you need to cut off your employees to keep the meeting under a certain time limit and to reduce lengthy conversations that sometimes aren't relevant to the meeting. Keep your cool and make sure to get your point across to your staff.
Tip # 4 - Comments at the end
In order to run an effective meeting, get right down to business at the begging of the meeting and ask employees to hold their comments until the end of the meeting. This allows you to get through the meeting on time so employees that are under pressing deadlines can get back to work quickly and others can stay behind and discuss things with you.
Tip # 5 - Set goals for the meeting
As you are writing the agenda, set a few goals for what you would like to accomplish during the meeting. This will allow you to probe your employees for the information you need and you can all brainstorm together to create certain goals for the company. When you have specific goals in mind, it will help you keep the focus on the meeting instead of on personal conversations that can cause you to lose track of why you are holding the meeting.
Tip # 6 - Write a follow-up list
During the meeting, make a few notes of the things you need to follow-up with. Listen to your employees during the meeting and add some things to the next meeting's agenda so it doesn't slip under the radar. Sometimes you can have great discussions during meetings, but they don't go anywhere because you forget to follow-up with your employees. With your follow-up list, set some deadlines on those tasks in order to get them taken care of.
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