Have you ever left a meeting unclear whether you reached the aim? Or have you been in doubt about which tasks you were responsible for?
Before the meeting
A good meeting starts with a thorough preparation. The agenda and related material should always be send out in reasonable advance, giving the participants time to prepare. This might seem basic but preparation is necessary to ensure professional quality. The agenda should focus on the meeting’s content and purpose. This will give better understanding of the issues that need processing.
During the meeting
To create the best settings for the meeting, you and your colleagues should agree on what is acceptable and what is not. Is it okay to be late? Or is it acceptable to respond to emails and text messages during meetings? Meetings are often interrupted by attendees dealing with their laptops and phones.
Furthermore, it is essential that the chairperson rises to the occasion. The chairperson must focus on the aim of the meeting and process the items on the agenda within the estimated time. Although small-talk is cosy it is not a part of efficient meetings. It should be cut off as it can cause the meeting to drag on forever.
Spend time during the meeting to summarizing important decisions and responsibility of the following tasks. In doing so, no one will leave the meeting with doubts about what you agreed on. Consider spending 10 minutes at the end of the meeting to evaluate on how the meeting went: did you succeed? What were the pros and cons?
After the meeting
The chairperson should send a summary and a task list to all attendees no later than 24 hours after the meeting. It is easier to avoid misunderstandings while the meeting is still top of mind.