How to make your team meetings smart?

Get the team setting the agenda

As the leader of the team, there will always be things that you have in mind for the meetings. Trouble is in my experience, when all of the agenda and meeting content comes from the leader, there tends to be huge levels of passiveness and disengagement. If you want to have better meetings, get the bulk of the agenda coming from the team.

Keep them short

I have during my career in accountancy spent huge amounts of time in meetings. What I discovered is that the shorter the meetings are, the more effective they are. This is partly because people are more focussed. It is also due to the fact that most of us have a very short attention span. One thing that is particularly helpful in keeping meetings short and focussed is to do them by conference call or webinar rather than in person.

Give people a chance to speak

If you are leading the meeting, you should be speaking less and listening more. You also should aim to take care to ensure that all of the meeting attendees get a chance to speak. There will always be a few who, if you allow them, will dominate meetings and not always with great contributions.

Facilitate well

As a leader of a meeting, you are as much a facilitator as a person who is chairing. Facilitating essentially is about ensuring that the ideas are collected, built on and an agreed point is reached. Think of yourself as the conductor rather than the musician and you will go a long way towards effectively facilitating meetings.

Only record key actions

There are a few meetings that will require formal minuting. Most don’t and simply require a record of the key actions and who is taking them forward.

Make sure you follow up on actions

It’s vital that you have an effective process for following up on actions agreed at previous meetings. Why? The simple answer is that if you don’t, people will see them as unimportant and not follow through. Without follow through, nothing happens.
Meetings can be a catalyst to great results or just a drain on resources. So what do you need to start to do differently to get better results from meetings?

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