ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Awesome Advice for Running Amazing Meetings

Updated on August 6, 2017
Carolyn M Fields profile image

Lifelong learner, musician, author, world traveler, truth enthusiast, and all around bon vivant.

Source

New and Better

No doubt you found this article because you were in search of new and better ways to manage business meetings. You may have a meeting coming up, and you want to make it better than last time. Maybe you are in charge of running it this time, or you’re new to the corporate world, and you’re looking for some free advice. Regardless of your situation (e.g., an “up and comer” or an old hack like me), this guide is guaranteed to give you at least one new insight to improve your meeting management skills.

Basic Functions of Meetings

There are two basic functions of meetings, namely information sharing and consensus building/decision making. Some people would add “team building” to that list, but in my view those events are, well, events. You may “tag on” a meeting to a team building event, but the two concepts are actually quite different in purpose. Also, you can have a “hybrid” meeting, where you both share information and make decisions, but remember that those are two different “modes” of interacting. And please, for everyone’s sake, don’t act like you are holding a meeting to make a decision when the decision has really already been made, and you are just making an announcement.

Tip #1: When In Doubt, Don’t Have One

Many of the information sharing meetings can easily be accomplished through other means, such as email, bulletins, newsletters, etc. If the only reason you are getting together in a meeting room is to make announcements, seriously consider some alternatives. Of course, if there might be a lot of questions, or the announcement is “sensitive,” then by all means order up the donuts and coffee and get to it.

Consensus building/decision making can be a bit more tricky, but much of the preliminary fact finding and such can be done outside of the meeting room. Save your precious meeting time for actual “work” on moving forward.

The best advice I can give is simply this: don’t have a meeting unless there is no other way to achieve your desired results. For example, if you normally schedule a staff meeting just to “update” each other on your project status, can you accomplish the same thing by putting an excel spreadsheet on a “shared” drive? The expectation is for everyone to update their status by a specific time on a specific day. Then the updated file can be sent out by email.

Tip #2: Never Hold a Meeting Without an Agenda

This is pretty much a hard and fast rule. In fact, agendas should be sent out in advance, so that participants can prepare, and bring the necessary files or information with them. And this agenda should also be time specific, with certain allotments for each topic. Microsoft Word has an assortment of templates for agendas, so there is no excuse not to prepare one ahead of the meeting. Don’t forget to leave time for introductions in the beginning, and a wrap-up of action items at the end.

If you find yourself at a meeting without a clear agenda, then raise your hand (if you are a participant) or stand up (if you are the leader), and make that the first thing you do. Post it on the white board or flip chart if available.

Tip #3: Communicate Expectations and Establish Meeting Ground Rules

This may sound a little bit like elementary school, but not everyone will “play nice” unless the expectations and ground rules have been clearly established. You might take it for granted that people should pay attention to whoever is speaking, but if that is not explicitly stated and reinforced, I guarantee you they will be checking email and running YouTube in the back of the room before the first PowerPoint presentation is halfway finished.

It’s an excellent idea to make writing the ground rules an agenda item. Start with a few basics, like pay attention to the presenter, and have participants add to your list. It only takes a few minutes, and it’s time well spent.

Tip #4: Help Meeting Participants Remain Focused

If you are the meeting organizer or presenter, your role is also to keep everyone in the room on point. This may require asking questions, or moving around the room and standing behind anyone who is drifting off or checking their smart phone.

Also, someone should be keeping a record of decisions made and questions asked that could not be answered. It’s the perfect role to assign to Sleepy in the back of the room.

Tip #5: Record Action Items with Dates

Unless you enjoy rehashing the same ground at every meeting, when action items are decided upon, they should be assigned to specific individuals with due dates. And then you (or the meeting organizer) needs to publish these items, and follow-up at the appropriate time.

Tip #6: Follow-up for Best Results

It’s all about the before, during, and after. Especially the “after.” Too many times, meetings are held, decisions are made, and participants go their separate ways. The meeting notes are filed away, and nothing happens. Then another meeting is held, only to find out that the action items have slipped.

You need to establish a method of reporting back to the meeting group concerning the status of your action items. Hold each other accoutable. In a nice, supportive, and productive way of course. You will be glad you did.

Summary

That’s it. Just six quick tips for improving your meeting management. No rocket science, just practical information. If you have any great tips or additional thoughts you’d like to share, please do so in the comments.

Read This

Read This Before Our Next Meeting
Read This Before Our Next Meeting

Great resource on meeting management.

 

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)