7 Tips for Leading Effective Meetings

Have  you ever attended a meeting that ran too long or felt pointless? Maybe you left feeling unclear as to who was supposed to do what as next steps. Here are some tips I’ve picked these up over the years  from working with business coaches and being involved in nonprofit boards. These techniques will be used during the upcoming
Executive Roundtable discussion series and a good way for you to see them in practice.

7 Tips to Leading Effective Meetings

  • Start the meeting on time. You can ask the participants to arrive a few minutes before you actually want to get started
  • Establish a note taker (someone other than you if you’re leading the meeting) and ask that note taker to provide the notes to everyone after the meeting.
  • At the beginning of the meeting, go around the room at the start and ask each person to share what they’re wanting to accomplish in the time allotted. If people are saying vastly different things, reiterate the purpose of the day’s meeting.
  • State the time the meeting will be over as you get started. “We have 60 minutes, so let’s get started.”
  • Keep conversations high level if it is a high level meeting. When people go into details or action items, thank them for their foresight, ask the notetaker to make sure that idea goes into the meeting notes, but let’s keep moving at the high level we’re needing to maintain.
  • Ask those who go off topic  to take the convo offline (or to a time when the whole group doesn’t have to be present). Often when I’m facilitating a board retreat, I’ll put a Post It on the wall as a Parking Lot for topics that we can come back to or be sure to address at another time. That way the person making the comment feels heard, but doesn’t inadvertently hijack your meeting.
  • End every meeting discussing and agreeing to next steps, specifically re-stating who is doing what by when. Then ask if you’re missing anything to give people the opportunity to add to the next steps. Those next steps need to be listed in the meeting notes that will be distributed to all participants.
If you feel like you’re being too stern, just reiterate that you’re wanting to be respectful of everyone’s time and make sure it’s used effectively.
No one, I repeat,
no one wants to sit in a pointless meeting.

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