Hey guys, it’s Jessica with Revela. Have you ever attended all day only to get out and find out that you accomplished nothing? Or how about a meeting where only a few of the people actually spoke? Or even a meeting that seemed to drag on much longer than actually needed?At some point, it’s likely you will be asked to facilitate or run a meeting. The question is, though: Will the meeting you facilitate be dreaded, or will it be appreciated? Here are a few tips to help make your meetings much more effective.
1. Have an attitude of respect. Now we’ve said before that whatever goes on in your head, or whatever you’re thinking comes out in your actions. So it’s important that you go into the meeting with the attitude that you will be respectful and you will put a stop to any disrespect shown by others. Blatant signs of disrespect could be eye rolling or inappropriate language, but there are also subtle signs of disrespect that we need to watch for. Some of these could include answering text messages or emails while people are talking, interrupting others, or tuning out of the conversation all together. Either way, demonstrating disrespect is one of the fastest ways to shut people down in a meeting.
2. Communicate the purpose of the meeting. And I’m not talking about the items on the agenda. I’m talking about why you and others are actually at the meeting. What is your purpose? What will be accomplished? A lot of times, a meeting can get off track right away because we focus too much on the agenda instead of on the purpose. So make sure before you begin, everyone knows the purpose of the meeting.
3. Finish one topic before moving on to the next. With certain topics, discussions can go round and round without ever actually coming to a consensus. And then we find ourselves moving onto the next subject. This results in people having difficulty deciding whether or not there was a decision made or if it was just a discussion. At the end of each topic, make sure you summarize the decision that was made. The summary will allow people to take action and prepare them for the next topic.
4. Give everyone an opportunity to participate. Sometimes in meetings, one or two people can tend to dominate a conversation, and this can be just based upon their personality style. If you see this happening, use several questions to get others to participate. When others don’t get a chance to participate, they tune out of the meeting or disengage from decisions all together.
5. Finally, create a plan. Here’s where you take action: summarize the decisions, assign responsibilities, and set target dates.
It always takes time to generate a comfortable flow in a meeting. But if you follow these steps, it’ll be much easier to get people engaged and participating. Are you tired of meetings that go nowhere? What are you going to do?
Are your meetings bad? Find out here!