Dale Carnegie said that the secret to success is trying honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view. Running effective meetings can be challenging if certain considerations aren’t taken. Great leaders know how to conduct a meeting effectively by identifying needs and expectations in an open environment. Follow the steps below as a guideline to running effective meetings.
How to Conduct a Meeting
- Time is of the essence. Reserving a meeting space and setting up any visual equipment is the first step of running effective meetings. Arrive early for logistics and setup. Prepare an agenda and share it with the meeting attendees. Start the meeting on time regardless of the number of absent members.
- Request the “Honor of Your Presence.” Ask for a volunteer to take notes. Encourage an open and casual environment, and participation from everyone. Show respect for people’s opinions and ideas.
- Prior Preparation. In a written format and with 48 hours in advance, send out an informal agenda with topics, speakers, and time constraints. Determine attendees, clarify room setup. Anticipate and plan for potential questions and resistance.
- Go for the Goal. Clarify the purpose. Know what result is desired from the start and communicate it at every opportunity. Guide meeting conversations and discussions toward the conclusion.
- Moving on. Have a list of questions ready to stimulate thoughts. Discuss only one issue at a time, and practice good listening skills as you conduct the meeting. Avoid interrupting other speakers.
- Eat then Meet. One thing to keep in mind about food at a meeting is to plan for it and schedule a separate time for eating. If the meeting begins at 8:00 sharp in the agenda state that breakfast will be served at 7:30-8:00.
- Follow up. Summarize meeting discussions, results, and decisions. Allow enough time for projects and assignments to be completed. Make sure that these actions and follow-up items are written down so there is no confusion afterward.
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