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.
However, the participants are often dissatisfied afterwards: “Again, hours are wasted in senseless meetings and the actual work stops” - this is how many employees think. Most of the time this is because the meeting was poorly prepared or led unprofessionally. Read here how to do it better.
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 it actively, which means that the topic should always contain a verb. It is even better if you formulate the topic as a question: “Should we launch the XY product on the market?” The more narrow the topic, 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 according to their importance (the most important topic first) and avoid those that the participants cannot 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.
Because always remember: Meetings annoy many, but it is not difficult to organize a good meeting. In addition to content and targets, there is one thing above all else: the ambience should be right! So pay attention to the organizer on “little things” like the rooms in which the whole thing takes place. Or the punctual start!
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?
- Actively steer the meeting and think about counter strategies for the usual “meeting killers” (frequent speakers, long-term complainers ...).
- Create “cheat sheets” for important, own speeches.
- 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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German edition: ISBN 9783965960886
English version: ISBN 9783965960893 (Translation notice)
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