Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Effective meeting basics

An effective meeting is a business meeting that serves certain desired purposes in an optimal way. While meetings are among the core tools for making things happen in any organizations, they often consume too much time and resources. The two natural benefits of more effective meetings are:
Better desired outcomes for you and your organization, including higher quality and quantity of the results from your projects, better decisions, motivation of the people involved, and so on.

Lower costs in time, energy, and other resources for you and your people, leaving more of those resources to other mission critical tasks.

To ensure higher effectiveness for your corporate or other business meetings you will need to reevaluate and possibly improve your actions in the following two main areas:
Meeting planning and preparation, covering such critical elements as clarifying the desired outcomes in an agenda, communicating those objectives to the people involved, inviting the right people, allowing people to prepare, choosing the proper time and place, and arranging the necessary technical support.

Conducting meetings, including such meeting management aspects as keeping the meeting focused, using an effective meeting chair, maintaining atmosphere when all participants can contribute most effectively, and making sure that all valuable points are properly captured (in the meeting minutes).

Finally, if you want to improve just one thing this time, then start from being more selective. Before another meeting is called, ask yourself wether this meeting is worth everyone's time. Does it really surve any worthwhile purpose? Probably the least effective meeting to have is the one that has a hidden agenda to simply make an impression of activity. To create an excuse to procrastinate on or escape from taking the necessary actions. To substitute activities for accomplishments.


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