(DGIwire) Why would anyone want to host a bad meeting? We’re actually not sure why you wanted to read this story. Good thing you did though because the actual topic of this article is “Five Simple Steps to the Perfect Meeting”.
We did this to prove a point. You opened this article thinking that you would read about one thing, but the topic was different. Annoying, right? Unfortunately, this also happens with up to 50% of the meetings you attend. You go into a sales meeting with your copy of the agenda. One person asks an off-topic question and somehow you end up spending an hour talking about something totally different and equally irrelevant. You leave the meeting without clarity or direction and you’ve also just wasted an hour of your life that you’ll never get back.
To forever eliminate the dreaded “bad meeting,” Dian Griesel, Ph.D., president of DGI, narrowed down the five most important things needed to ensure a successful meeting.
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Then prepare some more. The better prepared you are, the more successful the meeting will be. Have an agenda of topics or talking points. Anticipate any questions and have the answers. Or if the meeting was held to resolve a specific issue, have all the right questions. Research any relevant topics that you feel could facilitate the meeting. It takes time and energy to prepare for any successful meeting. Good meetings don’t just happen.
2. Bring it to the table. Items as simple as pens, paper, coffee and water. Make sure that you have available what people will need in order for it to be a productive meeting for them. Having it all there at the table for them at the beginning of the meeting will limit interruptions throughout.
3. Move it! A facilitator, as defined by Merriam Webster, is “one that helps to bring about an outcome by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance or supervision.” Every successful meeting needs an effective facilitator. This person guides, redirects, pushes, pulls, diverts, shifts and sways as needed to keep the meeting moving forward in a productive manner. The Facilitator might have to gently bruise some egos to accomplish this but that’s okay because he’s not there to make friends. He’s there to get a job done.
4. Time is on your side. Set a time limit. Then stick to it! Everyone’s time is important. After you’ve prepared your agenda, you’ll have a pretty good idea how much time you’ll need. Knowing you have a limited amount of time will help you stay on task and focused. Also important is scheduling the meeting for the best time. Ideally, best time to hold a meeting wouldn’t be right before an anticipated rush.
5. Promptly record and distribute minutes. There’s nothing worse than thinking you had a great meeting, only to have five people with five different variations of what transpired. Not only will having minutes help to clarify events but it will hold responsible parties accountable for follow-through actions as determined during the meeting.
Copyright-free content provided by DGIwire.