It is important to get the best out of every meeting held in order to ensure effective meeting management. No matter what your feelings are towards meetings, they play an integral role in the workplace. Effective meeting management is built around making better use of time, moving projects forward and leaving meetings with a clear idea of lessons learnt from mistakes made and what needs to be done next.
However, if the meetings are run poorly this can be a complete waste of time and resources for those involved as well as the organisation which can contribute to low morale and under achievement. These issues can occur by;
- Lack of preparation
- No meeting agenda
- Lack of actions
- No time management
The following tips should help overcome such issues.
1. Determine the Purpose of the Meeting
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In order to ensure meeting success it is important to firstly define the purpose of the meeting. This can just be two sentences or a have a meeting purpose statement at hand to help attendees stay focused. Through determining the purpose, meeting objectives should start to materialise as well as deliverables, scope and aims.
2. Develop the Meeting Agenda
Once the purpose of the meeting has been determined, next should be the creation of the meeting agenda. Creating the meeting agenda allows you to follow a definite structure and should be used as a control mechanism as ideas are captured.
3. Make Sure Right People are in Attendance
There is little point in holding a meeting if the decision makers are not in attendance. Therefore, make sure the correct decision makers are present and are ready to contribute. If they cannot make it, postpone the meeting until such a time where all participants are available. Make sure these attendees come prepared. The meeting agenda should be handed out beforehand so that attendees arrive with a clear idea what needs to be discussed and ready to go from the off.
4. Ideas and Outcomes are Captured
Capture and explore ideas as they are expressed. Keep a record of the key points as there is nothing worse than letting valuable ideas slip through the net. Once decisions are made and actions are designated, capture these as they happen. Mind Mapping helps keep the meetings fresh, helping the facilitator reveal all relevant information and keeping the session streamlined at the same time.
5. The Meeting is Properly Closed
Using the meeting agenda, enough time should be set aside at the end for further discussion to close the session and reach a consensus on what needs to be done next. Take the time to go back through the map of ideas captured and allow attendees to discuss each point until they reach the point of agreement and actions are assigned. It is not too late to add additional points at this stage to help with clarity.
From the captured information in the mind map, participants are able to recognize what has been discussed and have a clear view of the next set of activities to be completed for the next meeting.
The maps above were created using MindGenius Mind Mapping Software. Download the free 30 day trial of MindGenius.