Effective Meetings

Are meetings planned, structured, concise and clearly focused on achieving operational and strategic objectives?
A. Most meetings are ‘crisis’ meetings.
B. Meetings tend to be sporadic, unstructured, drawn-out, poorly organised, often lacking in focus.
C. We have regular effective meetings, but the focus is always operational.
D. Meetings are planned, structured, concise and effective, though primarily focused on achieving operational objectives.
E. All meetings are planned, structured, concise and focused on achieving both operational and strategic objectives. 
[Score: A=0, B=1, C=2, D=3 & E=4]
Why is this question important?

People spend so much time in meetings that turning meeting time into sustained effective results is a priority for any successful business. Actions that make meetings successful require management

  • before
  • during, and
  • after the meeting.
As Stephen Covey says in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “Begin with the end in mind.”

Before the Meeting to Ensure Effective Meetings

Actions before the meeting establish the groundwork for accomplishing meeting results.

  • Plan the Meeting
  • This will determine the meeting focus, the meeting agenda, and the meeting participants.
  • Make Sure You Need a Meeting
  • Ensure Appropriate Participation at the Meeting
  • Distribute and Review Prep-work Prior to the Meeting

Providing pre-work, charts, graphs, and reading material 48 hours before a meeting affects meeting success. The more preparation time you allot, the better prepared people will be for your meeting.

During the Meeting to Ensure Effective Meetings

  • Effective Meeting Facilitation
  • Use the Prep-work in the Meeting
  • Involve Each Participant in Actions
  • Create an Effective Meeting Follow-up Plan

During the meeting, make a follow-up plan with action items. Effective plans include:

  • What – the specific action item
  • Who is responsible
  • When – the due date of the action item

After the Meeting to Ensure Effective Meetings

  • Circulate Meeting Minutes
  • Effective Meeting Follow-up
  • Accountability for follow-up during the next meeting

Results are achievable and predictable from well-planned and implemented meetings.