A meeting can be of many different kinds, to plan an action, a one-off event, to discuss day-to-day business, deal with a conflict or discuss the start of a new project.
Unfortunately even the best of corporations can have the most ill-planned and disorganized meetings that completely beat the purpose, fail to accomplish any of the set-out tasks and end up wasting valuable time.
All these practices have, rightly so, given meetings in general a bad reputation and name. So much so that managers, employees, CEO’s all dread the meeting before it’s even begun and tend to walk-in with a negative mind-set.
One single meeting can be stressful and throw you off-course, but a full day of meetings can be downright traumatizing. To make any meeting a success, excessive management needs to be done, before, during and after said meeting.
Here are a few tips to effectively organize yourself and successfully manage your meetings to make the most out of them.
- Lay the Groundwork – The most essential thing in ensuring you have a productive day of meetings is to be prepared. Without an effective day plan, your results will disappoint you. Write it down and list it out. You should always start with a clear and thoroughly prepared agenda of what you are looking to accomplish from your day.
- Prioritize and Complete Tasks – From your list of tasks for the day, prioritize the most important and begin with that. If the meetings are pre-planned then strive to stay ahead of schedule on your regular work so as to not lag behind and lose precious time because you’re caught up in a conference room all day long.
- Plan, Objectify and Document – Before going into a meeting, have an outline of all the things you need to address, all the points you need to make and the issues you need to raise clearly documented. Files, folders, papers, notes all should be neatly organized to and visibly labeled to facilitate you in the meeting itself.
- Stay On time and On Task – Avoid procrastination during the meeting and give time its due respect. Be punctual, and demand punctuality from the attendees. Begin with a carefully devised agenda and do not deviate. State the desired outcome and purpose of the meeting, and designate someone to have summarized meeting objectives that need to be addressed and resolved. Tackle the most pressing matter at the beginning and table inconclusive arguments for further review. Document the meeting with action items, accomplishments and written minutes to ensure maximum productivity.
- Focus and Re-fuel – In any all meeting day, any sane individual is bound to lose focus, and become saturated. A good organizational skill to ensure productivity is to make allowances for sustenance, re-fueling and re-grouping. A break between meetings is needed for all the attendees to freshen their minds to avoid them becoming dull and unproductive.
The meeting leader or the facilitator is often the person responsible for setting the tone of the meeting, making sure everyone is heard, all issues and problems are dealt with and also keeping the discussion on track and preventing it from going astray. Transform the traditional business meeting by precise organization, keeping timely and concise.
What are some of your key organizational tips and tricks that allow you to stay on top of your game? Share with us in the comments below!