Meetings. Meh. Have I lost you already? Just the thought of yet another meeting can dredge up a painful memory.”Remember that meeting that lasted for 2 ½ hours and nothing was decided?!” Not all meetings need to be bad. In fact, meetings when run correctly – can be very productive and informative. The following is a framework intended to improve your meeting management skills.
Meeting Management Key Stand PAT
A meeting has to have: a Purpose, an Agenda, and a Timeframe.
- Purpose: You should be able to define the purpose of the meeting in 1 or 2 sentences at most. “This meeting is to plan the new marketing campaign” or “The meeting is to review Finance’s new policy for handling check requests.” That way, everyone knows why they are there, what needs to be done, and how to know if they are successful.
Tip: Include the Purpose in the MS Outlook invitation to all meeting invitees.
- Agenda:Set an agenda. List the items you are going to review/discuss. Assign a time limit to each agenda item and identify the person responsible to speak or moderate the discussion.
Tip: Distribute Agenda in advance of the meeting to allow ample time for participants to prepare. Ask for input on the agenda to a few key members to socialize content and approach.
- Timeframe: Set a timeframe; at the very least a start and end time. Also, set durations for each agenda item. These should total the overall meeting timeframe.
Additional tips to help you successfully manage your meetings:
Meetings need to start on time. Don’t wait for stragglers to show up. When someone arrives late, don’t go back and review what has already been covered. That just wastes the time of the people who showed up on time.
Keep and Send Minutes
Someone, other than the meeting facilitator, should keep minutes of the meeting. Use the agenda as an outline. The minutes should record who attended, what was discussed, any agreements that were reached, and any action items that were assigned. Progress of action items should also be captured, if applicable. Soon after the meeting, usually within 24 hours, distribute the minutes to all who attended, any invitees who did not attend, and anyone else affected by the discussion.
Distributing the minutes informs those not at the meeting of the progress that was made and reminds everyone of their action items.
Commit to the agenda and just the agenda.Â If the meeting group veers off topic, don’t be bashful. It never hurts to say “let’s take that off-line”
Role of the Meeting Organizer
- Determine participants and logistics
- Arrange for conference room, room set-up, equipment
- Send out the meeting invite
- Define and distribute the Agenda
- Define roles facilitator, minute taker
- Communicate preparation required from the participants
Meetings consume a lot of time and company resources. If you feel your company’s meetings could use a fresh approach, commit to trying Stand PAT. The more efficient your meetings are, the better the return on invested resources. If you would like help with a fresh approach to organizing and facilitating meetings, please contact Heather Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 508-279-0400.
About the Author: Heather Wood
About MCG Partners
MCG Partners a woman-owned, Greater Boston-based consultancy specializing in executive coaching, leadership development, talent management, and organizational development solutions. We help businesses optimize success through the entire management life-cycle. MCG Partners is also a Predictive Index® (PI®) certified partner.
To learn more about MCG Partners’ services or The Predictive Index®, contact John Griffith at email@example.com or visit mcgpartners.com.