Sharon Sayler

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Today’s guest expert, International Productivity Expert Athenée Mastrangelo, from www.ActionChaos.com shares with us the 5 steps for running an effective meeting. I don’t know about you, but nothing makes my eyes roll faster and farther into my head than meetings than just drag on and on….

Are you running effective meetings?

Don’t you just love spending your time in meetings?  Yeah right, we all despise them – they’re boring and usually take way too long, but more importantly most of the time we leave a meeting having accomplished nothing significant.

Before scheduling your next meeting ask yourself:

  • Is this a one- or two-way information sharing meeting, if it’s a one-way just send out an email
  • Rather than having an onsite meeting, use an online workspace to collaborate on your project

And if you still think you need to hold that meeting check out the following 5 Steps.

5 Steps to Running an Effective Meeting

1.  Laser Focus your Meeting

Before even scheduling a meeting, get really clear on the purpose or desired outcome of your meeting.  Think with the end in mind.  At the end of the meeting you want attendees to do ….  You need answers to …  Have scheduled dates for…

Once you know your desired outcome you’re ready for Step 2.

2.  Have an Agenda in Place

Hold more effective meetings by having an agenda in place to make sure you keep everyone focused on your objectives of the meeting.  In the next section we’ll show you a sample of a meeting template, feel free to use it and adjust to your meeting needs.

Share your agenda with all the attendees prior to your meeting, giving them a chance to prepare for the meeting.

Save our paper, money, and our planet:  Most of us have a laptop, iPad, or tablet – use it at the meeting!  Please ask your team not to print out the agenda unless really necessary.

3.  Start & End on Time

“The cost of a minute. If you earn $50,000/year, it’s about fifty cents. Waiting ten minutes for someone costs $5.00. If ten people at a meeting are waiting ten minutes for someone, that’s $50.”  ~Harold Taylor

Here’s another big complaint:  Meetings not starting on time.  This can be due to lack of preparation or other attendees showing up late.  Be prepared and start on time!  You snooze you lose:  If attendees show up late, don’t go back and repeat what you have already covered – this will only set back your meeting.

Now that you’ve started on time, keep your meeting on track (Step 4) so you can end your meeting on time – everyone will thank you for it at the end!

4.  Stay on Track

When you set up your meeting agenda allocate time to each section/topic of your meeting.  Make sure to respect that time, therefore making sure you stay on track and on time.  If you keep to the plan they will respect and honor it for future meetings.

5.  Have a Leader

Every meeting must have one person who is in charge. This person must have the power to call the meeting, manage the meeting, and make sure that discussions remain relevant to the topic at hand.

It’s also helpful to have a Timer, someone who makes sure you stay on track time-wise.  You should also assign someone to take notes during the meeting.  They need to be in charge of sending out the meeting notes to all attendees shortly after the meeting ends.

Save Time with a Meeting Template

Here’s the sample meeting agenda we promised:

Meeting:  [Topic]

Day/Time:  [Day & Time]
Location:   [Meeting Room 1]

Attendees:
•    [Attendee 1]
•    [Attendee 2]
•    [Attendee 3]

Agenda:
•    10 minutes: [Agenda item A]
•    10 minutes: [Agenda item B]
•    15 minutes: [Agenda item C]
•    10 minutes: Wrap-up and Action review

Action Items:
•    [Action item 1 – Attendee(s) responsible]
•    [Action item 2 – Attendee(s) responsible]
•    [Action item 3 – Attendee(s) responsible]

Notes:
Additional notes and discussions

 

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Thank you Athenée for saving us from ‘death’ by meeting or committee.

Enjoying the Adventure in and out of meetings.

To Success! To Life!

Sharon

About the Author: Athenée Mastrangelo

Athenée Mastrangelo is an International Productivity Expert and is focused on personal & team productivity as well as working in the cloud.  Find out more here or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn

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