Take charge in a meeting

We’ve all had it happen to us.

We sit mindlessly in a hour-long meeting with no purpose, no agenda, no short-term or long-term goals.

The madness can stop. You can make meetings a productive happening where ideas are generated, decisions are made, milestones are met, and time is precious.

Here’s your easy-to-use guide to taking charge of the meetings that you lead:
1. Set an agenda.
Distribute a note beforehand to the attendees that states:

  • why is this meeting happening?
  • what you want to accomplish?
  • what prep work needs to happen?

Be sure to thank them for coming to this IMPORTANT meeting.

2. Get off to a strong start.
Set the tone right from the start that you are in charge of the meeting and you are accountable for its success. If there’s a head chair in the room, sit in it, and act like you own it.

Attendees want to know right from the start that this group has gathered to ‘get things done’. No one likes wasting time.

3. Get everyone involved.
If you have 10 people in a meeting and only 3 are actively participating, you’ve got a problem. Either you’ve not invited the ‘right’ people or you have to coax these individuals out of their shell. You want people leaving your meeting thinking “that was a very good meeting; I understand now” vs. “where did that hour go? I should have been doing something else?”

4. Clearly set next steps and follow-up.
Sometimes you can’t get everything accomplished in one meeting. If this is the case, make plans right then and there for a follow-up meeting.

Review next steps for those in attendance. Who is responsible for what after the meeting ends? You want people to continue with the positive energy you set during your great meeting.

If you are extremely organized, distribute meeting/recap notes for all those in attendance.

Don’t assume anything. Remember — you are leading the meeting. This means that you are accountable for anything that was discussed, debated, or finalized.

Follow these 4 steps and you are well on your way to holding the best meetings in your company.

Until next time,

Dan Naden
Naden’s Corner

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