I participate in many meetings – in fact, every day I am involved in one or more meetings of one kind or another. There are staff meetings, conference calls, webinars, committee and task force meetings, board meetings, conferences, trade shows, and more.
There is nothing more frustrating than unproductive meetings – they are a waste of everyone’s time – and time is a finite and very valuable resource.
Here are some tips I have for making meetings more productive. Let me know if you have any to share.
1. Publish an agenda (preferably a consent agenda) with meeting materials as much in advance of the meeting as possible.
2. Review all materials published for the meeting in advance of attending.
3. Be prepared to ask relevant and appropriate questions about the items being discussed.
4. Be respectful of all meeting participants, their opinions and their time.
5. Don’t interrupt people when they’re speaking AND don’t repeat what people have said when discussing an issue.
6. If you are to report on the status of an issue, be prepared to report and answer questions that can be reasonably anticipated.
7. If you are leading the meeting, make it clear to all participants at the beginning of the meeting what you hope to accomplish.
8. If you are leading the meeting, be a facilitator – don’t insert your opinion on every issue, especially not before all others have expressed theirs.
9. At the end of the meeting review the originally stated purpose and evaluate whether the purpose was acheived.
10. Have fun!