There is one thing you cannot avoid in business and that is meetings
. The fact is most meetings are unnecessary, unproductive and a complete waste of time. To ensure your meetings are not a complete waste of time and energy follow these guidelines.
1. Many meetings are waste of time because many people use them to figure out what there suppose to be meeting for in the first place! When a time is set ensure adequate preparation is made to determine why a meeting is needed in the first place.
2. Once the purpose of the meeting is established then create an agenda. The agenda sets the main points that need to be discussed and the goals that need to planned upon. Make sure the agenda is developed and sent out in advance of the meeting. This will allow the invited parties to prepare for the meeting and make it more effective and rewarding.
3. If you are responsible for arranging the meeting then you agree the start and finish time. Whatever, you do, do not show up late for your own meeting. You should be at the meeting room 10 to 15 minutes before it starts. If needed ensure refreshments such as coffees and teas are arranged.
4. Have a meeting only if it is absolutely necessary. If the information can be gained or passed on to someone either with a phone call or email then, ask yourself if a meeting is necessary.
5. When a meeting needs to be arranged ensure the appropriate and relevant people are there. The last thing you want is to waste peoples time. Select people who have the relevant knowledge and expertise to make the meeting effective.
6. As the organiser you should elect someone or yourself to chair the meeting. This role will ensure the meeting does not wonder off topic. Always be aware of the clock ticking and if you have to ruthless then, do so, but in a nice way to ensure everyone sticks to the script.
7. Remember the point of a meeting is not have a chat. It is too nail down items that can be taken away and acted on. Therefore, it is important that someone is appointed to take notes of the main points and outcomes.
8. After the meeting it is good practice to do a follow up. The follow up should include a reminder of why the meeting was held, the main points that were discussed and the items that need to be acted on. This follow up should be sent to everyone who attended the meeting.