Why are meetings so important?
Meetings are an integral part of most office workers' day-to-day work. Certain employees come together to discuss work-related issues or other issues, usually with the boss's participation.
Often, however, the participants are dissatisfied afterwards: "Once again wasted hours in meaningless meetings and the real work remains" - so many employees think. This is mostly because the meeting was poorly prepared or unprofessional. How it works better, read here.
Step 1: Does that really have to be?
Check if the session is really needed. Are there any other ways (for example per eMailVote) to solve the problem? The question of goodness is always: Do the pending questions, topics or tasks justify the effort for a meeting?
Step 2: Choose the right theme
Set the theme, date, group of participants and agenda sent. If it is clear that the problem or topic can only be solved by means of a meeting, the circle of participants and the date must be determined.
Invite them in time, only the people who are really important or necessary for the topic. Set the time sent: in the morning for creatives, in the evenings for those who are struggling (because in the evening it is usually faster to reach agreement because everyone wants to go home).
Step 3: Define the topic
Define the topic of the meeting exactly. It is best to formulate active, that is, the topic should always contain a verb. It is even better if you formulate the topic as a question: "Should we launch the product XY in the market?" The more limited the topic is, the higher the success of the meeting.
Now set the agenda - there must be no meeting without an agenda - and focus on a few points.
Sort the agenda items by importance (the main topic first) and avoid those that participants can not prepare for (such as "miscellaneous" or "miscellaneous").
Provide relevant information
Ensure that all relevant information is available to the participants in good time. In addition, you should set a precise timeframe - and stick to it.
Keep in mind that meetings are annoying for many, and it's easy to organize a good meeting. In addition to content and targets, it's all about one thing: the ambience should be right! So pay attention to organizer also on "little things" as the premises in which the whole takes place. Or the punctual beginning!
Step 4: The ambience must be right
If you are responsible for organizing the meeting, please consider the following:
- Book a suitable room in good time. Choose a bright, sufficiently large room. One calculates about 3 to 5 square meters per participant plus possibly space for technical equipment as well as drinks and food.
- Organize and test the technical equipment (video projector, flip chart, microphone).
- Organize drinks and, if necessary, a break.
- If necessary, define a seating arrangement.
- Prepare name tags.
- Provide writing material for the participants.
Step 5: Success Factors Note
- Always start on time.
- Determine a protocol leader and a moderator.
- Remind participants to turn off their phones.
- If necessary, introduce new participants to the others.
- If possible, do not take breaks.
- Make a log unless you have a logger.
- Do not close off any agenda item without having set the agenda: Who is going to do what?
- Steer the meeting actively and consider counter strategies for the usual "meeting killer" (frequent speakers, long-term movers ...).
- Create "cheat sheet" for important, own contributions.
- Finally, read out the central points of the (handwritten) protocol or discuss them with the logger.
Step 6: Prepare the meeting
Send the (machine-written) protocol as soon as possible after the meeting. Monitor compliance with the resolved measures and adopt open items for the agenda of the next meeting.
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