What does it take to run an effective meeting? A few common issues many organizations and leaders face when holding a meeting is the lack of productivity and outcomes as well as the inability to end a meeting in the allocated time, all of which are frustrating to the individuals in attendance. Throughout my career and experience as a CEO, I have witnessed how difficult it is for many to hold a proper meeting where actual outcomes are defined and decisions are made.
As a CEO, investor, and entrepreneur most of my day is spent in meetings. Some of which are a one-on-one meeting, while others involve a team. Needless to say I am very familiar with why the issues I described above exist. Mostly, it revolves around the following: no clear purpose, complex data introduced at meeting, failing to deal with dominant and silent meeting participants, action items not clearly defined, and wasted time.
To run an effective meeting and produce the outcomes needed to proceed with a clear direction, I have found that the following is key:
Meeting Purpose- When leading a meeting, make sure the purpose of the meeting is defined at the beginning, or even before it is held.
Background Information and Data- This should be sent out ahead of time along with the assumption that it is to be reviewed beforehand.
Dealing with Meeting Participants- Manage speaking and engagement times from everyone in attendance. Encourage those who are silent to share their opinions and manage the speaking time spent by those who naturally dominate a meeting.
Clear Timeframe- Set a clear start and stop time for the meeting. Be mindful of other individual’s time and not go over. What needs to be discussed should be within the allotted time, if a follow up is needed that can be done after.
Action Items- Before meeting attendees leave, make sure action items are clear to everyone.
No Wasted Time- Don’t spend time on introductions or allowing time for everyone to catch up, this can be done before hand. Introductions should only be done when necessary.