We are almost spending 25% to 50% of our time in meetings in an organisation, because meetings are inevitable and necessary part of organisational life. Meetings must be made more effective. The most common types of meetings that you will have are,
- Information Sharing
- Problem Solving
- To announce new Products / Services / People
Have you ever thought, “Why this meeting in the first place? “. Because Clarity is essential. Meetings can be time wasters unless they are used properly.
Mostly a meeting will be costing the company Hundreds or even Thousands of Dollars. Yes, meetings are really expensive. A good way to determine the cost of meeting is to multiply the hourly salaries of the people who will be in the meeting and arrive at a cost of taking those people out of the workforce.
How to Hold Effective Meetings
The next thing we think is, how to make or organise a meeting more Effective?. Let’s look in detail, if we follow the key principles mentioned below, we can organise an Effective Meetings.
- Prepare an Agenda
- Be Punctual
- Leave when no longer necessary
- Be Action Oriented
- Do not Dominate
Prepare an Agenda
Have you ever prepared an Agenda for a meeting?. The one way to hold effective meetings is by writing Agenda. When we write out an agenda for a meeting, we should follow 80/20 rule. 20% of the items to be discussed will account for 80% of the value. Always we should ensure that important items are discussed First, just incase we run out of time.
To run effective meetings. always start and stop on time. If we do not have a clear Stop time for the meeting, the conversation will drift in circles and the meeting can go on and on, with little result.
If we are an organiser of a meeting and we are going to start the meeting at 10:00 AM., begin punctually at that hour. Make it clear to people that if they are not in the room, they are going to miss the meeting.
A good rule is to assume that latecomers are not coming at all, and just begin the meeting without them. Only invite people whose presence is essential to the business of the meeting. Sometimes we make the mistake of inviting people so that they will feel included in the work team. This is no longer necessary. People are so busy that they will always appreciate it, if you excuse them from attending a meeting to which they cannot make a valuable contribution.
Leave when no longer necessary
Allow people to leave the meeting when they are no longer necessary. Sometimes, only one item on the agenda is relevant to particular person. In this case, tend to that item immediately if we can, and then let the person leave and go back to work. This is a good use of everyone’s time.
As we discuss and deal with each item on the agenda, come to a resolution. Make an action decision. Assign a work responsibility with a deadline. Wrap up each point before proceeding to the next.
“What is our next action? ” , once everyone in the meeting has discussed an item, we should can ask this question. We can even write that question on the board so that everyone can see that the point cannot be passed until some resolutions has been made and some action commitment has been agreed to.
At the end of the meeting, summarise the result of the meeting and then thank everybody for attending. The more we make our meetings brief, to the point, and effective, the more eagerly people will attend our meetings and make their most valuable contributions.
Do not Dominate
It is quite common for the meeting leader or senior executive to dominate the discussion. A good way to prevent that from happening is to assign the chairmanship of the meeting to one of our staff members, alternating this function each week. You will be amazed at how intelligent and well prepared others will be when you tell them that they are going to be in charge of the meeting.
Then, instead of dominating the conversation, you simply participate like everyone else. We will be amazed at the difference.