8 Ways to get meetings right


1. Precise priorities

The objectives and priorities of the meeting need to be precise. For example, are you working something out or sharing information? Ask those in attendance to be truly present and make it clear you require participation from all otherwise there is no need for their attendance. Use digital tools to communicate what can be said outside of a meeting. Keep cameras on!

2. Group participation

Avoid any one person monopolizing the meeting, including those with a personal agenda.

Encourage laptops to be kept closed. Decisions made must be communicated and adhered to unless formally changed afterward.

3. Facilitation for improved participation

Outcomes from facilitated meetings are almost invariably greater and more positive with less time wasted, fewer diversions, more clarity of communication, and increased participation.

4. Keep it respectful

It is a waste of time if individuals feel they are not being listened to or don’t feel involved or it is not clear what the function of their attendance is. Encourage innovative and collaborative discussions.

5. Stay relevant

Invite people who are genuinely pertinent to the meeting and permit them to decline if they believe their time would be better utilised elsewhere.

Employees need to be able to say this isn’t for me but equally leaders need to explain why they should be there if required.

Frequently, leaders arrange meetings based on their own convenience, often without taking their teams' requirements or schedules into account.

6. The importance of accessibility

Opt for virtual meetings if it allows for better accessibility and turnout of the right people, but book face-to-face every so often.

7. Get the day right

Ensure meetings are being held on days when crucial participants are available to avoid them needing to be rescheduled or repeated later on in the week. Check if a meeting is absolutely necessary and have fewer recurring meetings. Consider different alternatives such as introducing one day each week for meetings, and also ‘no meeting’ days. 

8. Let’s get together

We are social beings. Everyone is different and for some their needs may not be fully accommodated by online meetings, especially those who live alone or in difficult circumstances. Balance is key, as is flexibility. Know your people, have their needs in mind, and accommodate them as much as you can.

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