Effective meetings are organized, collaborative and structured:
- Run recurring meetings on a rhythm. Same date/time and in everyone’s calendar. e.g. Weekly team meeting on Tuesdays at 11 am.
- Almost all meetings should have an agenda. This sets expectations for the purpose of the meeting and gives the meeting leader a tool to keep the meeting flowing. Effective meetings are outcome-oriented.
- Send the agenda out prior to the meeting so everyone has a chance to review it, understand what the purpose of the meetings is, add to the agenda, and be prepared.
- Keep updates and reviews to a minimum. These can be provided as attachments to a meeting agenda, but unless there is something specific to discuss (an issue/problem) they don’t need to be rehashed in the meeting. The best meetings are future-oriented and problem-solving focussed.
- Take meeting minutes. A record of decisions and discussions should be kept as months later they may be important. These should be provided to everyone who attended the meeting and anyone who could not so that everyone stays informed.
- Every action item/todo should be recorded in the minutes and have a person and a due date assigned to them. This ensures accountability.
- Make sure everyone in the room should be there. The more people you add to a meeting, the less effective it is.
- Effective meetings have a strong meeting leader/moderator who keeps the discussions on track (using the agenda) and the meeting on time.