Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Helpful: 10 tips for an effective meeting

I often joke that I'm allergic to meetings. Or that I hate conferences, conventions, convocations, conference calls, summits, pow-wows or bull sessions.

But this is not true. I love meetings. Those of you who have worked with me before know this: I love to talk, share ideas, brainstorm, and solve problems.

I just hate bad meetings. has an excellent podcast and .pdf with 10 tips for how to make your meetings much more effective.

The tips are:

• Pre-Publish An Agenda
as early as possible, with each point having a topic, start time and owner

• Start On Time
never late, don't wait, let the latecomers catch themselves up

• Set Some Groundrules
electronics "on stun," no laptops, trust each other, let the team help decide others

• Stick To Your Agenda
give two-minute reminders, be gentle, be respectful but stick to it, people will appreciate it

• Use a Parking Lot
tangents or items that go over are not dropped, they are put in parking lot for end of meeting, decide what to do next

• Fix Responsibilities
at the end of each agenda item, ask WHO does WHAT by WHEN? This is the core of the minutes

• Finish On Time
exceptions are listed in the pdf, but should be used sparingly - ending on time is a huge sign of respect, even if it means you have an item left for next time

• Publish Minutes
minutes remind members what they committed to - send as soon as possible (ideally the same or next day), forget the discussion, focus on decisions: WHO will do WHAT by WHEN

• Continuously Improve
every few meetings, ask if ground rules or timing need to change to improve effectiveness

• Use a Facilitator
advanced step - this allows meeting leader (or boss) to be more free to contribute to content instead of focusing on facilitating meeting

Have you ever been to a meeting that had a purpose, started on time, didn't drag on, had open discussion, resulted in solutions to problems, ended on time, and left you feeling like you knew exactly what you were responsible for doing before the next meeting?

Download the guidelines, listen to the podcast and implement these guidelines, and you'll be leading one in no time.

1 comment:

Blake Mitchell said...

That concept of the "parking lot" is a good idea since some of these small components may be brought together and turned into something even more awesome than what you've decided on. Good set, sir.