No More Death by Meetings

Shawnee Love   •  
April 24, 2015

In the interests of improved communication, trust building, teamwork, and remote workers, meetings have become the rule in many organizations.  Online, conference call or face to face, many of my clients are reporting being invited to (aka forced to attend) more meetings than ever before. For many, it has got to the point where they can’t find time to do the work that comes out of those meetings. Sound familiar?

To put a stop to meeting mania, we all need to be more diligent about how we meet.  Here are 4 must-haves when organizing a meeting:

  1. A purpose-  Purpose gets everyone on the same page and helps hold people to the time available.
  2. An agenda- A good agenda will include the topics, attendees, meeting location, and a schedule to follow.  If you are the meeting organizer, think carefully about who you want to attend and why, how much time you have and what is realistically likely to be accomplished during that time frame. Also consider where you will be meeting and if the space fits what you are trying to accomplish and the people in attendance.
  3. An invitation- Ensure the people who need to attend are invited and are aware of the time and place and what if anything is needed.  And remember that every attendee needs to know (and agree with) the reason they have been invited to attend, so don’t forget to include that information in the invite. Not only is it helpful to know what is expected of you before you enter the meeting, but it also allows individuals to assess where the meeting fits in their priority lists and determine whether to accept or decline.
  4. Materials & Tools- If there is anything the participants need to read or bring with them, ensure that information is provided in advance as well. Arrange for the A/V equipment, refreshments, room, conference lines, etc. in advance to ensure all will be ready for your meeting.

Come back next week to see our tips for running an effective meeting. And if you have any tips to add, please comment below.