Sunday, March 20, 2016

Who Called This Meeting Anyway? Part 1 of 2

Many people complain that meetings keep them from doing their most important work.  They view them as unproductive and a waste of time.

Not only are meetings important, but they are crucial within organizations because we are so interdependent.  Most jobs require people to coordinate what they are doing with others, and this happens primarily through meetings.

We can improve the quality of our meetings by making sure they are well-run and accomplish the desired results.  Effective, efficient meetings don't happen by accident but require a lot of thought and preparation.  Here are the first 3 of 7 guidelines to help make your meetings more productive.

When should you hold meetings?  
  • You need to coordinate core work  
  • You need to make a decision that affects everyone  
  • You have an issue that requires input from everyone  
  • You have information to share which affects everyone  
  • You need to review performance or plan the future
The above list is not meant to be comprehensive but includes important considerations.
Have a clearly-defined purpose. 
Every meeting, whether routine or spur-of-the-moment, needs to have a clearly-defined purpose.  Some meetings will have a single purpose and others may have multiple purposes.  The important thing is that everyone understands that the meeting is a means to achieving desired business results.

Establish a set of meeting norms. 
These norms are a set of simple, concise guidelines that define appropriate meeting behavior.  They are generated by consensus of all team members and should be posted where everyone can see them during the meeting.  They can include attendance, being on time, how decisions will be made, schedule, etc.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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