Business meeting management is about steering your meetings towards the desired outcomes, in a timely manner. Most daily and weekly catch ups are a string of clichés, bad boss jokes and hardly a motivating way to start the day. No offence to my current boss of course, whose jokes are always on point!
Before every business meeting, management should ask, “Why is this meeting necessary?”, “Who needs to be at this meeting?” and, “What’s the best way to conduct this meeting?” Please don’t schedule a meeting to repeat the numbers your team already has access to. Worse still, don’t just rattle of a bunch of cliché phrases and sayings. Remember, there’s actually no such thing as 110%… so just stop it!
Meetings are not always the best approach. Part of effective business meeting management is deciding whether a meeting is even required. Eliminate unnecessary meetings if you think another approach is more suitable. Is there a way your team can work together on a document or project without being in the same room at the same time? Perhaps email, intranet, a conference call or web conference might be suitable alternatives to a physical meeting.
Consider the cost of a meeting before it starts. What does it cost in lost wages for each attendee? What does it cost in lost productivity? Does the benefit of this meeting outweigh the expense?
If you catch yourself using phrases like “catch up”, “it would be nice” or “we haven’t had one for a while”, stop and think. Is this meeting really the best use of our time as a team? It might be nice to catch up but what’s the specific purpose of this meeting?
Be clear. Specify your meeting’s objectives. Here are a few business meeting management tips, so you get the most out of your next team catch up:
Before your business meeting
- Management should clarify the meeting’s purpose
- Specify who needs to attend and who does not
- Specify each outcome you would like to achieve
- Prioritise your single most important outcome
- Establish a brief agenda ahead of your meeting
- Circulate the agenda, so attendees can start thinking about each point
During your meeting
- Determine which actions are required following your meeting
- Assign responsibility to specific attendees for follow up actions
- Ask if additional resources are required
- Decide how and when to check progress or collect feedback
- Schedule a follow up meeting time and date immediately
Set a clear start and end time for your meetings. If another attendee wants to present during your meeting, you should ask how much time they require. If they need too much time, explain their topic might be a subject for another meeting. If you agree to let them present, hold them accountable to the time they asked for.
You need to remember your time and that of your attendees is valuable. Everyone in your team plays a role and you’re asking them to take time out to attend. Business meeting management is about steering your meetings towards the desired outcomes, in a timely manner. Make sure you’re not wasting your team’s most valuable resource; time.