Your Checklist for Effective Meetings

Through this week, the By George Journal has posted some helpful tips on how to make the meetings you attend more effective, more relevant to your work and/or interests. We start this feature by providing you with a useful checklist (this advice has been taken from the By George Treasury). We trust these tips will make for more efficient and productive meetings in the future.

We suggest you clip and save this checklist for effective meetings!

  • Have an agenda and circulate it prior to the meeting. Ensure the agenda expresses the objective of the meeting.
  • Invite the correct people at the meeting those who have information to contribute or must follow-through on what is being shared.
  • Prepare yourself and know the issues to be discussed.
  • Circulate materials prior to the meeting, if there are articles or items that will be discussed.
  • Start the meeting on time. Keep the meeting moving along by sticking to the agenda.
  • Announce expectations at the outset of the meeting. Should the discussion be derailed, bring the meeting back on track by restating the objective(s) and expectations.
  • Be attentive to the person speaking — do not begin sidebar conversations or be reading or completing paperwork while a person is talking. You expect common courtesy from others, so practice it yourself.
  • If you are the Chair, attempt to engage all the participants in the discussion. This will ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • At the end of the meeting, review discussion and decisions made and any action items for follow-up to the meeting.
  • Attempt to keep the meeting to 60 minutes — spend as little time as is needed to understand the issues and agree on action items.

 

(ed. –We have tagged “meetings” and these articles you can find many more tips for conducting an effective meeting.)

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

On more effective meetings

Here are a few additional thoughts on meetings….

 

Effective meetings begin and end with common courtesy. The Golden Rule of Meetings is: Do onto others what you’d want done to yourself. Take a moment to recall all those things that frustrate you about meetings – and don’t repeat the most common mistakes. Good meetings don’t happen by chance; they are a by-product of a thoughtful person who plans in advance. So, in the interest of workplace sanity, we are forwarding a few thoughts on how to run an effective meeting. Let’s start with the call of the meeting…

If you are arranging the meeting, make sure to circulate an agenda to the participants. If you are being called to a meeting, ask for the agenda. The ideal is for everyone to understand the purpose of the meeting. A printed agenda ensures everyone will be on the same page.

In preparing for the meeting, you should take some time to acquaint yourself with the meeting’s issues and prepare in advance for the discussions.  If you are Chair, be sure to have the best people possible at the meeting to speak on the particular issues. And, be sure everyone has as much information as they need to prepare for the meeting.

Once people are gathered, be sure that all expectations are expressed and understood. Place the issues into context and ensure everyone is aligned with the purpose(s) of the meeting. It is important to start the dialogue with everyone at an initial point of understanding.

The best meetings will start on time and finish on time. Punctuality certainly sets the tone of the meeting and, in many cases, can drive the participants towards the objectives. A good meeting will also ensure all participants contribute to meeting the objectives and mutual expectations of the gathering. Most importantly, well-run meetings will remain orderly and focused on the objectives at hand.

Lastly, a good meeting will end with a review of the decisions made. There will also be a review of the action items arising from the decisions of the meeting. By reviewing decisions and action items in a recap, all participants will leave the meeting room with a clear understanding of outcomes and follow-up. In this way, everyone will have a feeling that the time around the table was not only well spent, but also a positive experience.

 

FIVE RULES OF EFFECTIVE MEETINGS

  1. Have an agenda, circulate it prior to the meeting, and then stick to it!
  2. Prepare yourself – know the issues and consider how you will contribute to the discussions.
  3. Prepare others – announce your expectations at the beginning of the meeting and ensure any support materials are circulated.
  4. If you chair the meeting – start and finish on time and engage all participants. If you’re a participant, support the Chair in his/her efforts to adhere to the agenda.
  5. Conclude by reviewing action items the group are tasked to follow-through on – and set a timeline and reporting-in process for action items.

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Effective Meetings Tips: Your follow up after the meeting

  • Ensure minutes are prepared and circulated participants as soon as possible after the meeting date.  Read minutes and note any necessary edits that need to be made to reflect what transpired.
  • Send any post-meeting communications to all participants in a timely manner.
  • Evaluate the meeting and note whether it met the stated objectives. Pass along your assessment if it is appropriate.
  • If you were the chairman, seek feedback from the meeting’s participants.  Ask how the next meeting may be improved.
  • Complete your personal notes on meeting’s subject matter – denoting persons present and any significant points raised.
  • Ensure you follow-up appropriately with any specific action items arising from the meeting.

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Effective Meetings Tips: Participating in the meeting

  • Start the meeting on time. Review the agenda and announce all expectations at the outset of the meeting.
  • Keep the meeting moving along by sticking to the agenda.
  • Be attentive to the person speaking — do not begin sidebar conversations or be reading or completing paperwork while a person is talking. You expect common courtesy from others, so practice it yourself.
  • If you are the Chair, attempt to engage all the participants in the discussion.  This will ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Should the discussion be derailed, bring the meeting back on track by restating the objective(s) and expectations. Get their feedback during the meeting when you can improve the meeting process right away.
  • Consider the timely use of printed materials and visuals.
  • At the end of the meeting, review discussion and decisions made and any action items for follow-up to the meeting.
  • Assign action items and an agreeable follow-up process.
  • Attempt to keep the meeting to 60 minutes — spend as little time as is needed to understand the issues and agree on action items.

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Effective Meetings Tips: In preparing for a meeting

By George begins this week by sharing tips on conducting more effective meetings. (We all spend too much time in meetings not to consider how to make them more efficient and productive.)

Here is the first of three posts this morning… tips in preparing for a meeting.

 

  • Determine whether there is a need for a meeting. Avoid a meeting if the same information could be covered in a memo, e-mail or brief report.
  • Set realistic objectives for the meeting. What information must be shared and what can be accomplished.
  • Have an agenda and circulate it prior to the meeting. Ensure the agenda expresses the objective of the meeting.
  • Circulate materials prior to the meeting, if there are articles or items that will be discussed.
  • Invite the correct people at the meeting those who have information to contribute or must follow-through on what is being shared.
  • Consider the physical surroundings of your meeting – a seating arrangement, writing materials and space, audiovisual aids including extension cords and outlets, refreshments, etc.
  • Prepare yourself and know the issues to be discussed. Consider print-outs and visuals.
  • If you are the chairman, you must: know the group, prep members prior to the meeting, set the agenda and plan ahead, prepare speaking notes in advance, be prepared to lead discussions – and evaluate the proceedings during and after the meeting.

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.