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How to run an effective meeting

How to run an effective meeting
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How to run an effective meeting
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Everyone has been stuck in a bad meeting before. Preparing and arriving on time for it to be delayed by someone who’s late or perhaps you’ve had your ideas shut down completely without proper thought. With these unstructured and unclear meetings, it’s easy to find yourself losing hours of valuable time! Here are some rules to running effective and worthwhile meetings:

The three rules to running a meeting

An agenda is a must have. Having an agenda provides the meeting a direction for conversation, so if you go off track you can get back to the main topic of discussion.

Having a strict rule on start and end times allows for the meeting to accomplish everything it needs to. The last few minutes of every meeting should be left so that you can discuss the next steps. An action plan is necessary to maximise outputs after each meeting. By allowing this time it means you can allocate who's responsible for what and the deadlines needed.

Control the meeting not the conversation

If you're running a meeting once you've established your agenda, it's time for you to let everyone else speak. If you share your thoughts first, it is likely everyone will agree and so there’s no real benefit of the meeting. Being a meeting leader, it is important you allow others to be speak so that your employees feel heard and considered. Your job as the leader of this meeting is to introduce and conclude the meeting, and to make sure it stays on track.

Managing personalities

In meetings, personalities will sometimes clash. This is due to some people simply voicing their opinions louder or having more ideas. Sometimes this can lead to some people silencing themselves as they feel that idea may be shut down as it is not in their rank, or it is beyond their area of expertise. It is important that you try and get everyone to contribute. This allows everyone to get a say. Here are some ways you can make sure everyone contributes:

 1. Make everyone a judge

One way you can get everyone to pitch in is by providing index cards . Each card can have a prompt on it like amazing or not great. You can use this when someone suggests an idea and after that proposal is finished each person can hold up one of the index cards to explain whether they liked or disliked the ideas. This is a simple and easy way to discuss different idea proposals within a meeting. It is also a subtle and smart way to get everyone involved

2. Be vulnerable

During discussions it is very easy to just sit and listen and not participate. Sometimes people find it easier to just let others take the reins, but a good way to encourage others to get involved and your meeting could be by being vulnerable. If you make your employees aware that any idea can be thrown out of there, whether it be good or bad, it encourages them to take the risk. Letting them know there are no consequences for bad ideas in meetings allows them to take that leap and participate more.

Do a meeting audit

One way to improve how you run meetings is to every few months do an audit meeting . This will allow you to see which meetings are worthwhile and those that may be taking up precious time. This is something you can do on a quarterly basis which helps prioritise your businesses productivity. If this method doesn't seem to be working for you and your team, you could try a more drastic measure. You could simply cancel all the meetings and see which ones are missed and which ones aren't. This then allows you to see which meetings are genuinely important and which ones are unnecessary.

Meetings are important when it comes to running a business effectively. It allows for more order and productivity from your employees. Running an effective meeting is key in moving forward and bringing the team together.