Meetings can be testing, even for the most prepared manager, and most people will agree that the amount of time wasted in meetings could be drastically reduced if several steps are taken. And those steps are fairly simple and straightforward.
Tony Jeary talks about running meetings according to the acronym ‘magic’. Trying out these ideas may reduce the time wasted.
The ‘M’ stands for ‘Meet or don’t meet?’ Many meetings take place ‘because it’s Monday morning’ or ‘2nd Friday in the month’. Think whether you really do get value from that meeting. If there’s not much to meet for, decide whether the time spent could be better utilised elsewhere.
The ‘A’ stands for ‘Agenda’. Whether it’s on the phone or in person, it will be useful to have an agenda that is focused on results. Publish and distribute the agenda beforetime, so the right people know what’s being covered and what their contribution to each item should be. Only include those items that will add to the benefits the meeting calls for.
‘G’ stands for ‘Guidelines’. How should the meeting be run, what steps should be taken, and how should you focus on solutions? How should questions be handled? Remember, these should be guidelines, not rules. People don’t like to be constricted by rules; guidelines are less formal and are more likely to be adhered to.
‘I’ means ‘Involvement’. Engagement is vital for everyone within the meeting, so ensure everyone knows the role they are playing, the expectations and the results that are required. This involves also setting specific action plans, as the purpose of each meeting should be to change something in the future.
‘C’ means ‘Clarity of Communication’ and this should be considered throughout the meeting. Confirming everyone’s understanding of the meaning of the meeting points is vital for its success. Go back and repeat the main points. Notify each person of up-dates and make sure actions are followed up.
So, apply this magic formula; decide if the meeting should take place at all, set a specific agenda, ensure guidelines are followed, keep people involved and ensure clarity of goals and actions. That way, you stand a great chance of reducing or eliminating time wasted in poor meetings.
Head of Training
(Image by Renjith Krishnan)
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.