Tips for Efficient Meetings
In this article I’ll present some of the main elements in order to have efficient meetings.
In my career I’ve listened many times to people coming from or going to a meeting, and they were quite upset. The reasons varied, but generally they were all discontent “for having wasted one hour in vain”, or used to say “I shouldn’t have been there”, “what does he want now?”, “another monologue”, “I didn’t know how to get out of there sooner”, and so on…..
I could go on with the examples, but the first idea that gets to my mind is how such situations could be avoided. What would be the golden rules to avoid them?
The organizer of a meeting must think first if it is absolutely necessary to make it formal or whether communication can be in the form of an e-mail or a short discussion while having a coffee in the kitchen. If in the end we conclude that informal communication does not solve the problem, then we should organize a formal meeting.
When organizing a meeting we need to consider the following: what the targets are; who has to participate, establish the agenda, the roles, the location and date. These details belong to the process of meeting preparation and need to be known by all the participants. We could detail every single aspect, but it is important to invite to the meeting only those who are directly involved in the established agenda, not „everyone”.
Another step is the meeting itself, where we have to follow the agenda, the sum-up, how involved the participants are, and especially finalize in time.
It is extremely important to send the sum-up and prepare a follow-up.
When do we realize the meeting was efficient to us? When we got the useful information, even if we were no active participant in the meeting, and especially if we got a task to fulfill.
For more details see Guidelines to Conducting Effective Meetings