Want to know some great Top Tips for running more effective meetings? If you’re in a small company or organization with less than 5 members, then you need to read this article. Specifically we’ll discuss creating an “orama” of the issues facing your team, and how you can improve the effectiveness of your meetings by focusing on the big picture. After reading this article, you’ll understand why it is important to keep in mind the “big picture”; and why, as a manager, you must be prepared for any possibility that might arise during the course of any meeting.
In many cases, managers spend too much time looking at the small or upcoming items on their agendas. Often these are only seen as issues by those that attend the meeting, or if they have been requested, only by those who can attend. They’re not viewed in the larger context of a larger meeting room, or as part of a way to help solve the problem that is faced by everyone in the company. This can lead to decisions being made that don’t really solve problems…for the people at the meeting, but also for the company itself VoltageControl.com.
You know what I mean. When someone comes to a meeting with a pressing issue, the first thing the facilitator does is to go over the agenda. And at the end of the meeting, the same person is assigned to look at the meeting documents and make a report. The report is usually quite poor, because they’re trying to find things that weren’t included in the original agenda, or that didn’t make it to the final version. This tends to focus people on the problems, and doesn’t really address the real issues that were outlined in the original meeting.
So, let’s talk about Creating the “orama”. When you set up an initial meeting, you should already have an agenda or working document that outlines the objectives of the meeting. This needs to be followed through in the minutes of the meeting itself. However, when you actually sit down to have the meeting, you need to be sure you have a backdrop that covers all the topics that were discussed in good detail. No one wants to just walk into a meeting and have no idea what’s going on.
A backdrop needs to be a consistent time frame. This can be one item from the agenda or even a slide show presentation with time constraints. Make sure to use it, and refer back to it during each phase of the meeting. Time management is an essential skill in any type of business. Without it, you’re constantly running around, looking for ways to move forward, when you could be completing your tasks in the order they were ordered.
Next up is simply staying on task. If people are running around talking, checking email, and generally being distracted, you’re not going to get very much accomplished. Focus your energy on what needs to be done, and stop listening to everything else around you. That’s not to say that you can’t take notes – you can – but don’t let them become a distraction.
Finally, keep things moving forward by ensuring everyone knows what needs to be accomplished. For example, at the beginning of a meeting, announce who will be speaking, when they should arrive, and then go ahead and do it. Don’t wait until the end of the meeting for this step. Once the initial introduction is done, announce who will be speaking at the end of the meeting.
Now that you’ve read these tips for running more effective meetings, you’ll realize that keeping things moving forward is much easier than trying to get everyone to agree and stay on topic. In fact, by using a systematic approach, you’ll find it’s much easier to get everyone to focus and get accomplished. If you keep these tips in mind when running any type of meeting, you’ll find that the entire process goes by far faster.