Last week I shared a Q&A post around questions I had gotten from you, my lovely readers. One of the questions I received was around tips for running a meeting and keeping it on track. I wanted to dedicate a full post to this topic as its an important one. A core part of my life in the corporate world was managing multiple teams and clients. With that - came meetings, lots and lots of meetings. My entire day consisted of being in meetings and on calls. I typically ran meetings that had at minimum 4-6 people in it with different accounts and issues. I learned quite quickly that if you don't keep control of the agenda or the focus - things can spiral very quickly.
Now I am definitely not an advocate for meetings upon meetings. But they are necessary when trying to get everyone on the same page and to promote coordination among team members. Whether your holding your first meeting or trying to bring order to a weekly meeting - running a meeting can be a challenge. If you come into a meeting unprepared - your team can feel that and feeds off that energy. You want to run a meeting that is clear, concise and allows for feedback from other shareholders.
These are my 6 tips for running an efficient meeting.
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6 TIPS TO RUNNING A MEETING
- Be Purposeful - Make sure you prepare before the meeting and lead the meeting with a clear directive. Know who the key shareholders and core issue that need to be addressed. Always have a clear goal for the meeting.
2. Share and Address Agenda - Make sure to create and share an agenda ahead of the meeting to ensure that everyone is clear about the focus and what they should be prepared to address. This agenda is as much for them as it is you.
3. Allow for Open Communication & Questions - I typically kick off meetings by reviewing the agenda and then going around to address key items or issues for each individual. This allows them to voice concerns or questions and to feel that they have contributed to the meeting.
4. Acknowledge and Validate - Make sure you are addressing and validating the issues or questions raised by the team or shareholder in the meeting. Even if you can't address it then - you can "circle back" after you have had time to review.
5. Summarize & Address Deliverables - Always make sure to summarize and close out the meeting to ensure everyone is on the same page. Assign deliverables as well as an email summary with next steps assignments. This ensures you have a record of the meeting and assigned follow up items.
6. Recommend Meeting Length: 30mins-1hr max. If you require more than 2 hours to get it done - there are large issues at play (work load, team resources, wrong shareholders etc)
Meeting Tip: Always assign someone to take meeting notes and send out an email summary afterward. I typically assign this task to the most junior member involved in the meeting. This helps them learn about what you are working on and gets them up to speed faster. Or you can rotate if its a weekly meeting among peers.
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