Meetings, Bloody Meetings!
We've all attended them; dis-organized, poorly structured events where a date is on the calendar and no one gave much thought to content, procedure, and the feelings of the people involved; when it was used as a platform for 'the boss' to talk, and talk, and talk! "Hit Me Again, I Can Still Hear Him".
Meaningful meetings are not rocket science; here are 5 Top Tips that will encourage everyone to want to attend ...
Top Tip 1 – To Meet or Not to Meet? ~ Face2Face or Webinar?. Travel is costly in time out of the business, money for transportation and maybe, accommodation. Attendee registered webinar technology is available today, but even when Q&A is built-in, webinars serve essentially as an information/awareness platform. Should you wish to incorporate free discussion and/or a more social environment, consider the costs of each incumbent attending your meeting in person and, as much as possible, set your venue on middle-ground being willing to 'reward' those traveling from outside a pre-determined radius (overnight accommodation for example).
In-A-Nutshell ~ make your event a pleasurable anticipation!
Top Tip 2 – What's the Point? ~ A meeting may be defined as an assembly of people for a particular purpose, especially for formal discussion. A meeting is not a convention and to prevent a 'bun-fight', everyone needs a good reason for sacrificing his or her time (and money) to attend it. Each week for several weeks prior, send an email/text/bulletin 'reminder'of the event and, at least one week prior, distribute no more than a single-page, itemized agenda offering links/attachments to any detail for discussion on the day. Inviting more than twenty (20) attendees is not a meeting, it's a 'party political broadcast' with questions addressed to the top table! Should you have more than twenty people to 'engage', fall-back on a webinar and/or gather up to 20-person groups over the same week/fortnight.
In-A-Nutshell ~ keep people routinely informed of what's what!
Top Tip 3 – Be The Last To Speak ~ Surely the point of holding a meeting is to engage and gather input from everyone (no matter how whacky): to clarify direction; to add excitement, breadth, and depth to your organization; to recall your organizational raison d'etra; and, to dump 'stuff' that isn't contributing to your cause, all with unanimous approval! Well, that's the theory anyway. This means 'the boss' shuts up and gets to speak his or her mind 'in conclusion', which means last!
In-A-Nutshell ~ everyone, but everyone is encouraged to contribute ~ first!
Top Tip 4 – What Just Happened? ~ Taking notes is plain common sense as it consolidates what came out of your meeting. Distributing notes to all affected by the meeting outcome(s) is critical to the implementation of essential change! Simply record the essence of discussion; the ideas, the feedback, the agreements, any disagreements, the decisions, plus who will be doing what, by when.
In-A-Nutshell ~ keep everyone on the same page!
Top Tip 5 – Set A Date ~ All meetings, whether of progress or change, require an action-outcome or what was the point of it? Those tasked with specific 'Things To Do' need to be followed up so set-a-date for a progress check. Even though you will want to talk 1-on-1 about their progress, maintain a record of your dialogue through email requiring a cogent reply at each way-point. Should you not receive a prompt reply, chase it. And, should you not receive a reply to your chase, require a face2face meeting, which could be via webcam!
In-A-Nutshell ~ information is powerful but without action, it remains powerless!
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Complicated Is Easy! Simple Is Hard!