Some of our clients have come up with new rules to improve the quality of their meetings after taking our Advanced Organizing for Success class.
- At Caterpillar, they thought the purpose of the meeting should be on the agenda. Is the purpose Brain Storming, Decision-Making, or Status (FYI)? In addition, shouldn’t the goal (to be achieved by the end of the meeting) be included on the agenda and brought up first at the meeting? By doing this, you will keep the participants more focused and have a better chance of meeting your objective.
- Change your meeting default in Outlook to 50 minutes (for a one hour meeting) and 25 minutes (for a thirty minute meeting.) The meeting will be more focused, you will still cover the same amount of material, and participants will have time to get to their next meeting (plus stop by the bathroom.)
- Discuss the most important topic first. Studies show participants are most focused and attentive during the first 10 minutes of your meeting. Don’t finish your meeting with what matters most, start it with that topic/issue.
- Make sure the person sending out the meeting invite takes responsibility for and runs the meeting.
- Make sure there is a note-taker. 90% of all meetings without a note taker don’t accomplish their objective or drive any action/resolution.
- Use a flip chart to control topics/discussions not on the agenda. Park sidebar discussions on the flip chart until the end of the meeting. The number one reason meetings don’t finish on-time is that the leader loses control of the meeting.
- No laptops at meetings (unless for the PowerPoint.) NOTE: They aren’t taking notes, they’re doing other work and not paying attention.
- Ask yourself, “Do I really need to be there?” If you didn’t get an agenda, why did you accept?
- Do I need to be there the whole time?
- Do we really need this meeting?
I hope these help. Just having a mandatory agenda would be a step in the right direction!
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