Story provided by Partners in the Field –
A good meeting can certainly influence a professional relationship.
Here are five steps to have a productive meeting.
1. Be very selective when meeting
Only call for a meeting or even attend a meeting when it is actually necessary. Far too often we have meetings just for the sake of meeting and we tend to want to discuss everything under the sun at a meeting. Instead of calling a meeting for everything, be selective. And… if you’re in the position to, opt not to attend meetings that don’t look promising or don’t require your input.
2. Write goals for your meetings
Because it is so easy to get off track, consider writing out goals for your meetings so that you have a common idea to move toward. Feel confident in sharing those goals upfront in your meeting so everyone has the same end in mind and all parties are moving in the same direction.
3. Ask questions.
If you’re just looking to disseminate information it may be best to not have a meeting. If you’ve called folks to a meeting, you should encourage their participation by asking questions of them toward those goals you wrote out from Step 2.
If it’s not your meeting, you should be asking questions to make sure that you have a clear understanding and are moving toward the goals that the person who called the meeting has.
4. Consider having a standing meeting.
This one I heard from author and speaker Seth Godin. Far too often we get in meetings with comfortable chairs and snacks or beverages. Unless it’s a party or there is no work to get to, we should probably not get super comfortable in our meetings. We should focus on exchanging ideas and information as efficiently as possible and get to Step 5.
5. Designate the next steps
This for me is two fold. Because we had clear goals for this meeting back in Step 3, we can assess how well we met those goals and determine what needs to be done in order to fully meet them with actionable items. Then with the discovery of those actionable items we can assign the tasks to the right team members and increase our productivity and thus get far more from meetings.
A good meeting should have everyone excited about what the future holds and allow them to leave with a clearer picture of that future than when they arrived. Everyone should leave knowing what is expected of them and how it contributes to the entire team.