Setting Objectives: Running a Successful Meeting Boils Down to These 7 Components
While not every decision or status report requires getting everyone on the team together to discuss it, there are some circumstances where in-person meetings really are the best communication format. This is the case when partners need to create a consensus on how to handle a serious issue, for example, or when a project that still underway requires feedback from multiple stakeholders. When this is the case, there are seven key components to running a successful meeting that will determine how well the meeting goes. Read on to find out about them.
The Right Venue
Finding the right Meeting Venues can make a huge difference when it comes to encouraging creativity and productivity. This is especially true for startups and small businesses that don’t have fully developed conference rooms of their own. Choose an outside venue that will foster creativity, keep participants on-track, and provide for their needs.
Walking into a meeting unprepared is never a good roadmap for success. At a minimum, those in charge should determine the goals and objectives of the meeting and come up with a plan for engaging participants and accomplishing those shared objectives. That means having communication protocols in place and planning for potential obstacles like dealing with emotional topics or engaging hesitant participants in advance.
Firm Time Constraints
Determine the meeting’s start and end times and stick to them, even if it means postponing some aspects of the planning process until a later date. The best way to ensure that everything gets covered within the meeting’s time constraints is to prepare an agenda and give it out in advance. If attendees are straying too far from the agenda, don’t be afraid to reign them back in firmly but politely.
There’s nothing more frustrating than conducting a productive meeting only to find that the participants forget all about the conclusions they’ve drawn and the responsibilities they’ve accepted as soon as it ends. That’s where meeting minutes come in. Choose who will take the minutes before the meeting starts and provide that person with a template. Once the meeting is over, make sure the minutes are distributed to all participants.
A Good Meeting Facilitator
The meeting facilitator should be an employee or partner who has a stake in whatever is being decided. This person should also have good communication skills. Leading a meeting sometimes requires redirecting the conversation, so a firm, authoritative attitude is a must.
Opportunities for Participation
Most meeting participants’ time is valuable, which means there’s no reason to get everyone together unless their input is genuinely needed. That’s why it’s important to provide opportunities for participation to all attendees. If one person is hogging the spotlight, don’t be afraid to redirect the conversation and draw in new voices.
Conclusions and Follow-Up Actions
End the meeting by summarizing the conclusions and determining who will be accepting new responsibilities for carrying out any required changes. Make sure everyone is on the same page, and make sure the conclusions make it into the meeting minutes. It will help keep participants accountable after they leave.
The Bottom Line on Running a Successful Meeting
Planning a meeting requires some legwork. It’s just not reasonable to assume that getting the right people together in a room will always lead to good results. Plan in advance, find the right venue, and get everyone on the same page as quickly as possible, then make sure to follow up on whatever conclusions are drawn after the fact. All of these items put together can ensure you are running a successful meeting.