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5 Tips for Running Effective Meetings: Improve Meeting Management



5 Tips for Running Effective Meetings: Improve Meeting Management
Meetings are an essential part of the life of every organization and your ability to run effective meetings with your management skills is a critical part of your success in meeting management. As a leader, there are a series of things I recommend that you keep in the back of your mind.


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The first 5-7 minutes of a meeting

....is the most important component for conducting more effective meetings.

It establishes the parameters, organizes the terms of reference and tells everybody in the room why they are there, for how long, and what they need to accomplish.




Begin right on time

During a meeting, do not penalize the people who were there on time by waiting for others who are late. 

Assume that the latecomer is not coming at all and get right on with the meeting.  



Encouraging open discussions

Encouraging open discussions
Leaders should take up the role of facilitators and avoid dominating the discussions.

During meetings, it’s very important to get input from everybody, not only from those eager to contribute but even from those who are shyer and less likely to speak up.  



Delegating leadership

Delegating leadership

The way to avoid inadvertently dominating the meeting is to delegate meeting leadership.

Whenever possible, assign the meeting management responsibility to someone else, to build subordinates skills. It is a great training tool that gives employees the opportunity to build their meeting management skills, organize their thought, and perform in front of a group.



Press for closure

Once you start talking on a subject, discuss it thoroughly but press for closure on what has been decided and who’s going to do what and by when, before you go on to the next item on the agenda of the meeting.

The inability to keep on track and to press for closure are the two major time wasters and major complaints from people who attend non-effective meetings.



Summarizing the main points

Summarizing the main points

Summarize at the end of each discussion point and at the end of the meeting your time and action schedules, and your implementation plan and assignments. Then have everybody in the meeting agree on what has been decided.



Peer pressure

Peer pressure

People who agree to do something in front of their peers are much more likely to follow through. 

If everyone heard them say that they would do something by Thursday at noon, it is much more likely that they will have an internal incentive that will save you the need to monitor, inspect and control.



Distribute minutes within 24 hours

...from the meeting. The more important the decisions that have been taken, the more important that you have them distributed in writing so that if they have questions they can get back to you.




What makes meetings effective

  1. They achieve the meeting's objective.
  2. They take up a minimum amount of time.
  3. They leave participants feeling that a sensible process has been followed.

The Meeting's Objective

An effective meeting serves a useful purpose. This means that in it, you achieve a desired outcome.

For a meeting to meet this outcome, or objective, you have to be clear about what it is.

To prepare an agenda, consider the following factors:

  • Priorities – what absolutely must be covered?
  • Results – what do you need to accomplish at the meeting?
  • Participants – who needs to attend the meeting for it to be successful?
  • Sequence – in what order will you cover the topics?
  • Timing – how much time will spend on each topic?
  • Date and time – when will the meeting take place?
  • Place – where will the meeting take place?

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The Meeting Agenda

The Meeting Agenda

Normally managers put an emphasis on having a written meeting agenda prior to a meeting.

Research shows that having an agenda is of no relevance, and what's important is how the leader fa...

A Question-Based Approach

By having a question-based approach as opposed to topics, participants begin to think and act differently, marching towards the true intent of the being together, with intention.

    Specific and Challenging Questions

    Agenda questions can be molded to be like goals for the employees, to get them on their feet, energizing them and focusing their attention.

    Group goals promote group performance, and specific goals are much better than vague goals. The meeting questions, formed as goals, need to be challenging but not outlandish.

    One on one meetings

    ...are held between a team leader and team member

    They are conversations that usually last no longer than 10 to 30 minutes where they discuss what is going well and what needs t...

    A recommended agenda

    Most effective one on one meetings typically last about 30 minutes:

    • 10 minutes for the direct report from the employee;
    • 10 minutes for the manager’s remarks and messages, and;
    • 10 minutes for the employee and manager to draw a way forward.

    Objectives of effective 1:1 meetings

    • find out about the employee’s current emotional state.
    • track the status of the employee’s performance and how their goals are coming along.
    • learn if there are any obstacles in the way to the employee’s goals.
    • discuss specific issues – either the employee’s, the manager’s, or both.
    • get honest value-added feedback from the employee.
    • provide an opportunity for the manager to coach the employee.
    • share formal and informal information about the team and company as a whole.