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Meetings are the foundation of strong cooperation within any company. Here are 3 easy steps to make your next meeting pop with success.
How many times have you attended a meeting only because you have to - or just to be sure you don’t to miss anything important? Chances are it's quite a few. Meetings are the foundation of strong cooperation within any company, but too many meetings are missing a clear goal.
So you take a seat in the corner and wait for your chance to speak. Meanwhile, you discreetly check your phone for incoming tasks and feels the growing frustration of wasted time. Sound familiar?
If so, there’s a good reason: We’re spending more time in meetings during our working days than ever before. Managers, for example, spend 12 hours per week in a meeting room. That's why it's so important to use the many hours spent at meetings to create results due to the participants’ collective knowledge and creativity.
Follow these three simple rules – and you’re on your way.
Step 1: Have a clear goal (and a question)
It’s important to spend your time and energy on tasks with a clear goal. The pivot point for good meetings is one specific problem and one question the participants can relate to and invites them to share their knowledge.
Never call a meeting before you’ve spent the necessary time creating a brief, clear and comprehensible description of the task you’re trying to solve – or which goal you want to achieve.
Make it clear what you want to achieve and how the participants can help. Now formulate an open question (what if / how / why) that'll serve as a focal point for your meeting. Every time the discussion trails off, you can use your question to get everyone back on track.
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Step 2: Choose a leader
If a meeting is about resolving a task, then you need to know who you’re helping and what the problem is.
That’s why a meeting needs a meeting leader – just one! – who’s responsible for keeping the discussion on track and ending the meeting when the task is resolved.
Good meetings are when all participants have an apparent reason to attend and are actively encouraged to bring their best ideas and solutions to the table.
Step 3: Facilitate
Even though you have a clear task, a good question and engaged participants, it’s still necessary to ensure you’ll get a productive discussion.
Start by going through the agenda and explain your expectations for the meeting. Make it clear that you’ll interrupt and continue to the next point if it becomes necessary to keep time or keep the dialogue on the right track.
By using just 2 minutes to make sure everyone is on board, your conditions for creating great results are way better.
This last can be tricky; it's necessary to be polite, but direct, in facilitating discussions. By practising your facilitating skills you'll quickly learn how to engage the attendees and benefit from their knowledge.
And there you go! You're on your way to make your next meeting better, more effective and hopefully more inspiring.