Meetings, like them or not, are a means of communication, a way of resolving issues and should be used for reviewing documents and deliverables. Meetings won’t go away, but they can be made to be a lot more effective.
I’m sure we’ve all been to meetings where we wished we were somewhere else, or found ourselves fighting off drooping eyelids and the onset of sleep. There is little worse than having busy people attend meetings that waste their time, but if you do the following you’ll reduce the chance of this happening and run more effective meetings:
- The meeting owner needs to prepare for the meeting and not just try to take it as it comes
- Objectives and an agenda should be communicated to all participants before the meeting starts
- If a document is to be reviewed then participants need to have read the document before the meeting
- The appropriate people are invited and attend
- The numbers attending the meeting are kept to the minimum required – don’t invite spectators
- Actions and decisions from the meeting are minuted
- These actions are followed up
You also need to decide how many meetings that you need to attend. It’s very easy to find yourself overwhelmed by meetings. Be selective, you don’t need to go to them all and you need to be able to trust team members to run meetings and find their own solutions to issues, without you always being there.
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Gren Gale is a consultant specialising in Project Management and Procurement and is owner of PM Results
Image by By Jonny Clow