As the supervisor or employer, it’s your responsibility to keep meetings as productive as possible for everyone. Follow these tips to help conduct successful meetings!
Set the agenda: The agenda, or ultimate purpose for the meeting, must be clear to all participants or you risk losing their interest before you have even begun. What topics do you plan to cover during the meeting? What kind of issues do you hope to resolve? Is there a project you anticipate brainstorming for during the meeting? All of this, and more, must be preplanned and pre-communicated to all attendees for ensuring a successful meeting.
You can distribute pdf copies of the agenda at the meeting or have it written out on a whiteboard for everyone to reference. Let the agenda serve as a compass for the conversation as the meeting progresses. With the agenda made clear to all attendees, staying on-goal should be simple.
Timeliness is everything: Show that you respect your employees’ time by starting the meeting at the designated time and ending when planned. This will generate good feelings and cooperation all around.
Create a safe space for successful collaboration: If your meeting involves brainstorming and communicating new ideas, you will need to ensure that everyone feels safe enough to share. Establish guidelines for participation, such as allowing everyone to have a turn to talk without interruption or pairing up employees to brainstorm together.
Establish ground rules for the discussion: As the team leader, you can establish how decisions at this meeting will be reached. Spend some time deliberating over your chosen approach:
- Will you be sharing your own ideas as the final decision on every topic?
- Will you be sharing your ideas and then asking for input from the team?
- Will you ask your team to share their ideas and together, reach a final decision?
It’s your call, but be sure to have a clear idea of how you want to approach the meeting, and that your employees know this clearly as well.
Wrap up with a call to action: At the end of the meeting, share a quick verbal wrap-up and end with a call to action. Assign tasks to appropriate individuals, pair up employees who will be working on a project together and share a call to action for the entire team on the matters discussed. This will help everyone feel like you have had a productive meeting.
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