Have you ever walked out of a company meeting feeling like nothing got accomplished, or that you are more confused about the status quo than before you walked in?
Meetings, especially with large groups of people, have a habit of going haywire when there is no plan in place.
Managing a meeting to make sure that all the essential points are covered in a given amount of time is crucial to its success. Here, we will provide you with steps on how to do so:
Make An Agenda – It is a good idea to plan for a meeting as if you were planning for a public speech. Therefore, you should create an agenda, or an outline, of what is to be covered in the meeting. Make a list of what you need to discuss with your subordinates in order of importance, making sure that the most pressing items get attention first. Plan out the time needed to cover each topic, leaving some room for questions or miscellaneous items that can pop up.
Involve Employees – It is a good idea to involve your employees in planning for the upcoming meeting. Email out the agenda beforehand, and ask your team members if they have any topics they want to add. This gives your staff an opportunity to make you aware of items you may have missed that deserve attention, or let you know that some topics you put on your outline have already been resolved, and don’t need to be addressed. These updates will help you predict an accurate time frame for your meeting.
Nominate A Moderator – After your agenda has been finalised by your staff and yourself, pencil in an approximate time for each segment. Then, nominate a moderator who will provide a five-minute warning, and then notify everyone when the time for each segment is up. Although this tactic does not have to be set in stone, and you can adjust the timeframes as needed, having someone keeping track of things is helpful in not dedicating too much time when it is not needed.
Meetings are an important way for staff members to get together and discuss company goals, objectives and timeframes. However, not all meetings turn out to be informative or beneficial as topics can go astray and individuals can take up too much time talking.
Try to limit your meetings to no more than one hour; after that most employees tend to get bored or tune out. Also, if you manage a big group of people, invite only certain individuals by either choosing to speak to department heads only, or separating teams and speaking to them individually. The less people are involved, the easier it should be to communicate.
Head of Training
Originally published: 26 January, 2015