How many meetings did you attend this week? This month? This year? Did you attend a meeting today? Do you have more meetings scheduled for the next few workdays? I’m tired just looking at my calendar.
Meetings are the heart of any organization. We get together in meetings for many reasons: to discuss issues, make decisions, set priorities and respond to crises. In meetings, we learn who our colleagues are and decide whom we can trust. We may laugh, cry, rage, love and comfort one another as well as dealing with the business at hand. With all our ability to converse over the Internet, to text, Skype and send Facebook messages galore, organizations still need face to face meetings to function well.
We can’t rid the world of meetings. After all, the benefits of meeting does sometime outweigh the costs. But we can meet more wisely.
Running an effective meeting is more than sending out a notice that participants are to meet at a particular time and place. Effective meetings need structure and order. Without these elements they can go on forever and not accomplish a thing.
There are good meetings and there are bad meetings. Effective ones leave you energized and feeling that you’ve really accomplished something. So what makes a meeting effective?
Effective meetings are about:
Achieving the meeting’s objective.
Taking up a minimum amount of time.
- Leaving participants feeling that a sensible process has been followed.
- Having a sense of accomplishment.
If you structure your meeting planning, preparation, execution, and follow up around these basic criteria, the result will be an effective meeting.