How To Effectively Run A Meeting

MeetingEffective meetings are the order of the day, and often conclude with the conspirators feeling like they have achieved something. The matter is communicated clearly, targets are established, and a decision is made. Make your boardroom trysts short and effectual by following these handy tips:

Step 1: Prepare
Ask yourself why you need to hold the meeting, and make a list of the reasons that pop up. Revise your list as many times as you want to keep it concise. Now depending on your reasons, frame an agenda of the things that you need for the meeting. Do not wait for the final hour to get these sorted. You could also send your list of reasons to your coworkers, so that they know what they are in for.

Step 2: Get A Referee
Ask a colleague to act as a referee during the meeting. This isn’t to suggest that things will go haywire, but it’s always good to have a neutral person around to keep things in check. Hand the list over to him/her and ask him to blow the whistle whenever the situation demands it. Case in point, the overzealous time-hogger of a colleague that just won’t stop talking.

Step 3: Seating
Do away with hierarchy and have a seating arrangement that allows everyone to speak freely. Choose a U shape arrangement for this, as it would keep bobbing heads away from the view.

Step 4: Start at Ten Past Three
Use a simple psychological trick like scheduling your meeting to start at ten past three instead of three. This off-hour time will have your coworkers pouring in at ten past three to the dot, instead of the usual assumption that three implies half past three.

Step 5: Break The Ice
Chances are that there’s someone present who is relatively new, or who doesn’t know of your boss’s secret affair. Grab this opportunity to get him/her acquainted with office dynamics, as it will surely set the newcomer at ease. This will come handy if the aim of your meeting is to brainstorm ideas or to get as many inputs as you can from the team.

Step 6: Make Notes
You might have done just about everything to ensure that everyone stays focused, but don’t lose your cool if the topic strays a little. Make notes and store these ideas for another discussion. This will also help your team feel like they have been listened to.

Step 7: Take Down the Minutes
You can ask the person refereeing to jot down or record all the points discussed, along with the names of the people who have voiced these opinions. Once the meeting is over, email these points to everyone along with an update on what actions are about to be taken. This will alienate any notion that the meeting was pointless, as often is the silent concern among employees everywhere.

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