It's important to touch base with your team regularly, but everyone is on a tight schedule. Therefore, those meetings need to be effective and concise. Here are four tips for running a great meeting.
1. Make a game plan.
Don't meet just for the sake of it. Go into the meeting knowing exactly what needs to be discussed and the order in which you plan to discuss it. Ask your employees and team members in advance if there is anything they need to share or talk about. Determine the most important aspects to cover, and address those in the meeting. Anything else can wait until next time or be handled one-on-one.
2. Stay on task.
With a controversial issue or a big project, it's easy for you or any one of the attendees to get started on a tangent. Tell them when you begin that you value everyone's insight, but they need to keep it to the point so everyone has a chance to speak.
In that vein, request that the attendees put their phones away during the meeting so everyone can stay focused and present.
3. End on time.
Your team members have things to do, and if you say the meeting will be over by 10:00, you need to finish at 10:00. When people are worried that you're going to tie up their entire morning, they spend the meeting watching the clock and trying to rein in their frustration. Knowing they can count on you to end the meeting when you say you will frees them to contribute fully, knowing they can keep their schedule for the rest of the day.
4. Know what happens next.
Most likely your meeting will result in action steps that need to be taken (otherwise you probably wouldn't have needed a meeting). Send each attendee a copy of the minutes, and make sure everyone knows who is responsible for what.
Do you have any meeting horror stories from gatherings where these tips were not employed?