Do meetings drag on while your other work piles up? Many organizations suffer from ineffective meetings.
Here’s how to make your meetings more effective: define the host, share the goal, announce a customized agenda, and adopt the right process.
Define the Host
Know who is running each meeting: the host. Clarify who’s in charge of every agenda item. Assigning a host helps a lot. The host must identify who needs to be involved in each agenda item. Too often, meetings have team members sitting idle when they could be working on other essential tasks. It can be challenging to say who should and shouldn’t be involved for fear of excluding someone. My advice is to take the risk and verify.
Some people excel at being the host. They are adept at recognizing different perspectives, reigning in those who tend to ramble, staying on task, and summarizing the progress made. The host must not necessarily be the agenda owner, team leader, or subject expert. They just need to be good at setting and maintaining a focus.
Share the goal
You must have a goal in mind when you start a meeting. The goal should be at the operational level or the “what.” What do you hope to achieve? If you can’t define the goal, the meeting may fail. It can waste energy, time, and morale. On the other hand, when you have a clear goal and achieve it, it’s very motivating. It also develops a healthy habit of making regular progress.
Companies often struggle with rolling meetings. For example, teams may meet every Tuesday at 9:00 for an hour with a set agenda. Unfortunately, this meeting usually runs over and only covers urgent operational matters.The team rarely considers the more transformational, forward-looking needs of the business. Teams often spend too much time working in the business and not enough time working on the business.
To prevent this tendency, having a customized agenda provides a strategic analysis of the team’s most pertinent challenges to achieve the business plan. It is a relevance check and helps to maintain a balance in teamwork.
If your meetings are not focused on the most important matters, what are they for?
Adopt the right process
The process you use to reach your goal depends on the goal itself. This is where most teams fail. They use the same operational reporting and project update processes for all meetings, regardless of the purpose.These processes are helpful, but they won’t help you assess the total addressable market in your sector or identify the learning from your business division’s performance.
To make a decision, use a decision-making process.
To find the best practices, use an inquiry process.
Try it out!
It may feel awkward initially, but if you persist, you and your team will soon start prompting each other on when and how to use these elements.
To get started, share this blog post with your team and experiment together.
Try this approach for yourself, and let me know what you think!
Leave a comment with your feedback.