Meetings… let’s talk about them.
If you work in the corporate space, or even the small business space, odds are you’ve got a plethora of meetings on your plate.
And there is nothing more frustrating than an unproductive meeting without clear expectations.
Did you get what you wanted out of the meeting? Did your colleagues? Probably not…
Without clear expectations of what the meeting is going to be about, and key outcomes – your meeting is not going to be as effective as it should be.
So… let’s talk about 2 things you can start doing today to make your meetings much more effective.
1. Create an agenda
Your agenda for the meeting should include (at a minimum) what the meeting will be about, what people should be prepared to discuss, what success for the meeting should look like, and ALWAYS next steps.
But, I’m not the meeting owner! Doesn’t matter. If your boss sent you a blank meeting invite, then get clarity.
Put together a proposed agenda and send it over to them. Say “Hey boss, to try and make our meeting most productive, I put together this agenda. Does this work for you, or am I missing anything?”
If you get an invite for a random meeting with no agenda, reach out to the meeting owner before accepting and clarify the meeting intent.
Here is an example of a good meeting agenda:
Title: Christmas Party Planning Meeting
When: 9:30AM – 10:30AM
Where: Conference Room B
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the upcoming Christmas Party taking place on December 22. By the end of this meeting, we will have determined the location, food options, and determined next steps. Below is a proposed agenda.
Discuss potential locations
- Susie’s House vs. Michael’s House; pro’s and con’s for each
- Decide on location
Discuss food and drink options and owners
- Main dish owners
- Side dish owners
- Drink owners
- Determine next steps (owners and timelines) for gift ordering
- Assign stakeholder to develop marketing materials (owner and timeline)
Please be prepared to discuss each topic, and reach out for any questions.
Signed, Awesome Meeting Organizer
2) Never leave a meeting without clear next steps
A lot of times you won’t be the meeting organizer. Doesn’t matter. You should always consider yourself as the project manager and make sure that decisions are being made.
This includes ensuring that each party knows what their responsibility is, and what timeline they are agreeing to.
There is nothing more frustrating in a meeting than wrapping up without clear next steps. Who’s supposed to do what? I don’t remember because we never assigned them!
A good technique for this is to confirm your understanding and get agreement. For example, “Ok, so just to clarify my understanding. Claire – you are going to provide the green bean casserole. And Jack – you are going to develop the Christmas Party flyer and hang up around the office by next Wednesday. Does this sound right? Ok great.”
Never leave a meeting without clear next steps.
By being intentional about the structure of the meeting, and ensuring that there are clear next steps, you will have much more effective meetings and you’ll actually start to get some shit done!
“Do epic shit”