We love connecting with other women-led organizations and sharing their experiences. Many organizations we support have blogs that detail life experiences and events that are transformative both personally and professionally. Check out this recent guest blog, published by Maya Harris from Classic.City.Chic.
Have you ever been part of a meeting but find there’s still confusion once the meeting is over? If so, that’s not an effective meeting. These tips will help you run an effective meeting and get the results you need.
Hello Loves! Many of us work with a team cross-functionally on projects that require meetings. How to run an effective meeting is a valuable soft skill I learned in college. During my time in corporate, I realized this skill isn’t commonly known or practiced. Let’s be honest, there’s nothing worse than being in a drawn out meeting where nothing gets accomplished. If you follow these key principles, you’ll be sure to always conduct meetings that are concise yet productive.
Have An Itinerary
Before you call a meeting together, you should always know what your meeting is about. Write down your overarching theme as well as key points that need to be addressed. Having a clear outline of what your meeting will consist of helps it run smoothly. An itinerary can also be shared with meeting attendees so they know what to expect. I’ve been in meetings where maybe the person running it knew what we were gathering for, but I had no clue because no information was shared with me. When you and the team know what the purpose of the meeting of, you are able to keep everyone in the loop and engaged.
Make Sure Everyone is Available
We’re all busy professionals and sometimes our schedules clash. Your meeting should include as many of your key players as possible. When you schedule a meeting, try to consider everyone’s schedule and choose a time that works well for the entire team. My company uses Outlook for email and when you invite people to a meeting, you’re able to see what times they have blocked on their calendar. This is a super useful tool that ensures everyone is able to attend your meeting. If there are too many people who aren’t available, you’ll either have to cancel your meeting or schedule a follow up to debrief people. This slows down your progress when you’re working on a project that needs to meet a specific timeline. Get everyone in the room all at once and you can keep the flow of business going as planned.
This is something that I know some of our Type A readers may have a problem with. I know many people have the mindset to do everything themselves in order for things to turn out right, but you have to let that go. Delegating is so necessary! True leaders don’t try to do everything themselves, they delegate tasks so they can focus on what’s important. Being in charge of a big project is stressful and taking on every little part of said project puts even more unnecessary stress on your plate. Let your team support you and figure out who’s the best person to do what task. You not only take some responsibility off your plate, but show your team that you trust them to get things done.
Stick to a Concise Timeframe
My college mentor once told me “any meeting that lasts over an hour isn’t productive”. Of course there are exceptions to every rule but I’ve found this to be true a majority of the time. Any meeting I’ve been in that’s run over an hour by even 15 minutes becomes unproductive. As previously stated, we’re all busy and people get antsy when a meeting runs over its designated time. As a result, they will stop contributing just to get the meeting to end and move on to what they have next. If your meeting is on the verge of running over, simply end it and set a follow up meeting for a different time.
Last but not least, we have the follow up. It’s important to set follow up meetings with your team to ensure everything is on track. If you see someone is struggling to produce the part of the project they own, set aside some time to have a one on one to help them out. When you follow up with your team you have a clear view of any progress you’ve made and gaps that need coverage. Any updates that happen along the way can be communicated to the group so that everyone stays in the know. A good way to ensure consistent follow ups is to set a recurring meeting. That way, everyone knows when the next briefing is and it’s at the top of their mind. Have someone recap each meeting with what was discussed and task deadlines for each part of the team.
Do you use these principles when you host a meeting? Is there anything you would add to this list? Let us know your thoughts on effective meetings.
Until next time!