Stop Meeting Like This – Start the Meeting Process!

Do you look forward to attending meetings? Do you enjoy running meetings? Most people, when asked, reply that they do not enjoy meetings. In fact, a common description of a meeting is, “Where minutes are kept and hours are wasted.”

Stop meeting like this! Stop attending meetings. Start meeting like this. Start participating in meetings. Start implementing the three-part effective meeting process:

  1. Preparing for your meeting
  2. Running your meeting
  3. Following-up on your meeting

Step 1 – Preparing for your meeting

First, determine the purpose of your Meeting Room Equipment meeting. Why are you meeting? Do you need to solve a problem? Do you need to reach a decision? Do you need to share information? What do you want to accomplish? Who needs to be invited to participate in this meeting so that you can accomplish its purpose?

Purpose of meeting = Reason for meeting + Stakeholders invited to participate

As you prepare, create an “action agenda” and distribute it to the participants in advance. Each item on the agenda has its purpose listed, a time allotment, and one person assigned responsibility for presenting the agenda item. When you distribute the agenda, be sure to include any background materials that need to be read or researched prior to the meeting.

Because you have identified the purpose and the participants who will play a role in your meeting, you now need determine a time and a place for the meeting. Ensure that the meeting room has the proper setup and that all audio and video equipment is working correctly.

Step 2 – Running your meeting

I suggest that you assign specific roles to all participants. Here are some roles: Leader, Facilitator, Recorder, Timekeeper, Subject Matter Expert and Devil’s Advocate. Sometimes it is best to bring in a trained facilitator to ensure that everyone participates in important discussions and that no individual is allowed to dominate. The Timekeeper serves an important role in ensuring that the meeting runs according to the scheduled times on the agenda.

Because you have “cast the roles” for each participant and created an “action agenda,” you have defined the purpose of the meeting. Be prepared to manage the people who try to “hijack” the agenda or to stray off course.

Step 3 – Following-up your meeting

The best way to follow-up is to assign and clarify roles and responsibilities while you are still meeting. Do not wait to receive the minutes – ensure that each person know what they are assigned to do and when it needs to be completed while everyone is still gathered in the room. Acknowledging your responsibility in front of your peers and superiors is a great way to get items accomplished!