How much more would you get accomplished if it weren’t for meetings? Sometimes it feels like the answer is “a lot” and yet our need to work cohesively with our teammates means meetings are a must. Here’s a simple look at how to get the most out of the meetings you attend – and especially those you run! – InPower Editors
Meetings are one of the biggest time wasters – and the most important opportunities for communication – that we deal with in the business world. When you run good meetings, you:
- achieve goals that require collaboration and interdependence;
- build stronger teams by helping align team members’ perspectives, actions and energy;
- build commitment among team members to the larger organizational goals you’re responsible for furthering; and
- make excellent use of the precious resource of time.
When you are the one running the meeting, the burden is on you to manage the meeting so that everyone in it feels it was a good use of their time. What’s the secret?
Here are two things you need to have to run the perfect meeting:
- A shared intention: You and everyone there must share a definition of success for the meeting’s outcome. A decision, a next step, shared information, open questions…. these can all be acceptable outcomes, but if you and the attendees don’t share them, then even if you leave the meeting satisfied you’ve accomplished your goal, others may feel you ate up time in their day.
- Sensitivity to the culture: Meetings are major opportunities to reinforce the organizational culture you’re in. They’re also opportunities for you to shape the culture for the people in attendance. What can you do to work within, AND shape the culture you’re working in by how you run the meeting?
Of course the latter is half the problem! A lazy meeting culture can be hard to turn around. It can feel like you have to put out a ton of energy to pull the organization along with you. That’s why you need to work on your own meeting skills and create a pattern of meeting management that everyone comes to expect.