How do you go about conducting effective meeting? Whether you are in school or just came out to work in the employment market, I am sure you have experienced how meetings were conducted. You will find that some meetings chaired by certain people seem to be effective meetings whereas some meetings chaired by another group of people do not seem to yield any result.
Economically speaking, meeting time is costly as it involves the time of many people, hence meeting should be called only when absolutely necessary and usually if there is an unresolved problem or decision that needs to be made. Other non critical issues can be communicated by using email or by speaking over the phone.
In most company, the reason why meeting is not effective is because the people who come are not prepared with facts and data for the meeting. Some just come into the meeting for the sake of coming because they were needed to be there. If you are the one organising the meeting, there are many points that you can prepare in advance before the meeting so that you will be able to achieve what you have set up to do. The key points to take note are ..
Agenda Think through the agenda of the meeting. Ensure that you have all the items that need to be discussed in black and white and determine to resolve the issues in that meeting. If possible, list down the person responsible to report for each of the items in the agenda. In this way, there will be ownership of the items to be discussed and all the necessary preparation can be done before the meeting itself.
Notice Of Meeting Circulate the notice of meeting a few days before the meeting. Include the agenda and the person responsible for each item. Ensure that the decision makers attend the meeting or else it will be another meeting that needs further follow up before a decision can be made.
Manage The Meeting During the meeting, lay down the ground rules for the members to follow. Many times there will be members who will digress from the original intent of the meeting. Guide the meeting back to its original objective. Effective meeting is only effective if the chairperson is in control of the meeting and the agenda set is carried up professionally.
Meeting Minutes After the meeting, send out the minutes of meeting to all the members with detailed deadlines for each items. Make it clear to all the members that you are serious with the commitments made by all of them and you will follow up very closely on all the items discussed and committed.
Copy To Boss Send a copy of the meeting minutes to your boss and update him on all the commitment made by the members. Involving your boss adds further weight to the seriousness of the meeting.