How to Lead an Effective Meeting
Accept it, we have all attended meetings where we hated every single second of it! You did not know why you were invited in the first place. And the whole time you were afraid to miss the deadline on that important project. Now when the positions are reversed, you must be wondering how to lead a meeting that is productive and engages the attendees?
Well, wonder no more, we are here to help! A good leader knows the importance of meetings and knows it takes a lot of planning and effort to host an effective meeting. We have curated some essential pointers below on leading an effective team meeting. Use these tips to lead an engaging, productive, and successful meeting.
Prepare Beforehand and Create a Meeting Agenda
Preparation is a requisite for an effective team meeting. Create a meeting agenda and share it and other background materials with the attendees beforehand. A meeting agenda identifies the priority topics and goals for the meetings. It contains the “topics” for team meetings at work. It is applicable whether it is a one-o-one or a large group meeting. This will give all the attendees chance to prepare and contribute. It also provides structure to a meeting that is necessary for its success.
Curate the Attendees List
Only invite those people who are required. Do not invite additional people just for the sake of inviting. Additional people will bring additional complexities and extend the meeting time. It may also lead to chaos and unnecessary arguments that may make the meeting an unorganized mess.
Let all Attendees Contribute and Collaborate
How to make staff meetings more engaging? By letting all attendees collaborate in the meeting. Create a welcoming environment and never make fun of an idea floated or a question put forward. Get every member to contribute. Do not let aggressive or talkative members dominate the meeting. Be assertive yet courteous and include everybody in the conversation. Ask the quieter members to share their opinions too. Always look out for interruptions and let a member finish off if they were cut off during the interaction.
Start and Finish on Time
Time is the most precious commodity in the world. Once it is gone, it can never be regained. Also, every second wasted during company time is an expense for the company. The organization is paying the employees for their time and if it gets unnecessarily wasted, it is costing the organization dearly. Respect the attendees’ time and be punctual. The meeting should start on time and end on time. A meeting should be over within 60 minutes to be effective. More than that, and you lose the attention of the members. And if the meeting agenda is met before time, then conclude the meetings. The attendees would be grateful and not be apprehensive the next time you call the meeting.
Appreciate & Acknowledge
Leadership skills for effective team meetings include appreciating your team members and subordinates during the meetings. Public praise works wonders for employee morale and raises productivity. It also encourages other members to work hard or emulate the best practices of the organization.
Takeaways and Follow-Ups
Email the minutes of the meetings, the key takeaways, agreed-on action items, and decisions arrived at. Keep track of the action items and assignments agreed to during the meeting. This should not be vague. Make sure that everyone has clarity on these and assign the tasks to specific members. Follow up after the meetings and ensure that they are acted upon. Hold the members accountable for their commitments and mention this during the next meeting.
Ask for Feedback
Ask for feedback from the attendees on the meeting. Ask them for their suggestions to make meetings better. Ask them for their honest opinions and take them constructively. The questions you put can be on the lines of the duration of the meeting, the effectiveness of the meeting, and what was the favorite or the least favorite part of the meeting. You can also print a scorecard and ask the members to rate the meeting anonymously on the above pointers. The feedback will help you plan better and more effective meetings in the future.
Leadership Skills for Effective Team Meetings
Other than the above pointers, use these leadership tips to effectively lead a team meeting.
- Be diplomatic and do not shout or chastise anyone for being late to the meeting.
- Use humor to keep the proceedings light but do not use off-color jokes. These include jokes about sexual innuendo, ethnic jokes, or making fun of a disability.
- Do not use sarcasm or deviate from the topic, instead give clear answers related to the meeting.
- Do not pick on your subordinates, criticize other departments or higher management.
- Do not delegate planning the meeting agenda to your subordinates or assistants. As you have the meeting, so it is your responsibility.
So, these were some pointers on how to lead an effective meeting? Meetings are excellent opportunities to collaborate with your team members, identify clear goals and decide on future targets. Use these tips to lead your next meeting effectively.
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