Meeting is the most important activity to spread idea among groups. There is no meeting if we can do anything alone. But no one can do anything alone. We need collaborations, share ideas/issues, work load distribution, alignment and control. We need other people to do their part.
I have something to share. It’s been two years I held weekly meetings when I was a head of some social group. At first, I always hate meeting because it looks like inefficient making some heads to be in line. But when I join another larger group and project, I realize what makes meeting was so inefficient and sometime just wasting our time.
Is this picture illustrate meeting activities?
What do you see? It’s leader, the most responsible person on meeting effectiveness.
Then I played a game with my friends Gary and Charlie. I have a list of questions inspired from this site. Of course about meeting. I asked Gary to answer with the worst, put bad things here, meeting situation he ever had. And I asked Charlie to answer the opposite. And here are their answers.
When should you hold a meeting?
Gary, I am an impulsive person. In unpredictable situations, I come to the office and suddenly shout a list of names to come together for discussion that I called a “meeting”. While some of the participants is still working and get interrupted. In first 30 minutes, people busy to call all participants to come in same room while the others have nothing to do and must wait the other half to finish their works.
Charlie, One or three days before this day I send an invitation. In my email, I’ll tell them that I have important things for the team, I give them the details and I tell them I will ask their opinion about it later. I put the exact time when meeting start and end. I also make sure the place to hold meeting is ready. For me, meeting is the best way to meet the objective.
What is the objective and how do you find it?
Gary, As the meeting begins, as a group we decide what the objective of that meeting should be. If it necessary, I will ask the participants one by one while I’m also identifying.
Charlie, I look for the goal, the purpose and the basic reason for holding a meeting by myself. Some of it comes from higher level of meeting or current time plan.
Should you hold meetings regularly?
Gary, Whenever I need a meeting I will hold it. But if it was scheduled, why not to do it regularly. Maybe it’s the only way for us to catch up.
Charlie, However, routine meetings need a clearly defined objective and each meeting must contribute to the fulfillment of the main objective.
Who are the participants?
Gary, I have a lot things to talk. So, I will call people for each topic to come to the meeting.
Charlie, Those who can influence the meeting objective. If it’s more than one topic, I will separate it.
What should the agenda include?
Gary, The issues to be discussed, the time meeting will begin, the place, snacks to be served, the list of participants and games/jokes in case the meeting become bored.
Charlie, The objective, the issues, time meeting start and end, the place and the participants involved including what is expected of the participants in terms of preparation before the meeting.
Is it appropriate to hold a meeting in a restaurant?
Gary, No. Meetings are most productive when they occur in a boardroom. Yes if it’s for entertaining.
Charlie, Yes. If the objective is to establish a social as well as a business relationship.
How to end an overtime meeting?
Gary, Once if every person lost their concentration, give an additional times if the agenda is missed.
Charlie, Set a time limit in advance and stick to it. Adjourn meeting one the objective has been accomplished.
How can you find the success of your meeting?
Gary, At the end of the meeting count how many of the agenda items were discussed. The more agenda items covered, the more successful the meeting.
Charlie, Ask participants for their opinions and you can evaluate the alignment of your objective. Good participants will know what to do next after the meeting and I will follow it.
In meeting we deal with people’s head. Avoid confrontation or dominance speaking, straight to the point, be a good listener, keep away the out of topic and focus with the objective of meeting. By following this rule, in the end of meeting the participants will turn the objective of meeting to a set of actions. So don’t forget to take a notes of each meeting. And meeting will become a series. It leads to another meeting to follow.
From Gary and Charlie, there are at least eight points we have to prepare in meeting. In my opinion, the key point of meeting is preparation. Prepare why you should hold this meeting? When to do it? Where is the place? What is the objective of meeting? Who should be invited? And how to end it? As a good leader, we should prepare a very effective meetings. We will spend more time for actions after meeting rather than meeting itself. So don’t waste your time too much in your meeting.