Meetings are a gathering of two or more people who come together to accomplish what one person cannot. Meetings help create a team atmosphere and cultivate collaboration. At some point in your life, you may be asked to lead a meeting. It could be a series of meetings for a team or just a one-time thing. Sometimes meetings get a bad rap, but good planning by the leader can turn all that around!
Here are some tips for leading the meeting:
- Do we need to meet? And if we do, who needs to attend? Make sure each attendee knows their attendance is important.
- Plan with a purpose in mind. Define the purpose or objective/goal of the meeting. Are you team building? Training? Planning? Tell everyone at the beginning and check in right before you adjourn to see if everyone feels you met your meeting purpose.
- Everyone is busy. Start on time, even if only one other person is in the room. Starting late shows a lack of respect to those that did come on time and sends a message to others that it is OK to come late. If someone is late, welcome them but avoid the urge to catch them up right then. Ask them to stay after or give you a call the next day to review what they missed. Respect all of the attendees’ other commitments by ending your meeting on time.
- Have an agenda. Without an agenda, meetings seem chaotic and may never reach your desired purpose. Talk to others ahead of time and see what they may need to include in the agenda.
- Build in time to learn something new – a new skill, new idea or something new about each other.
- Enlist others to help. Have a timekeeper to help keep you on track and a note taker to help with follow up.
- Put away anything that distract you. Have a piece of paper handy to use as an “Idea Bin.” When things come up that aren’t on the current topic, have your note taker write it down in the Idea Bin. Go back later (during the meeting if you have time or during your next meeting) and discuss those items. It will keep you on track while honoring the ideas of those around you. Explain the Idea Bin at the beginning of your meeting.
- Have ground rules that everyone agrees on. It will keep you on time, on track and create an atmosphere of trust and confidence.
- Read the room. Keep an eye on who is talking and who isn’t. Invite dominating attendees to share one idea and then not share again until others have had the opportunity. Invite quiet attendees to speak up by asking them specific questions.
- Help attendees commit to action steps.
For more great MOPS Leadership tips and training, go to our Leader’s website. Not a Member, but want to engage? Check out MOMcon 2018 – a gathering of moms, world leaders and influencers, just like you.