Isn’t it true that most of us spend a lot of time in meetings? We’ve all been a part of meetings with no direction, which run over time and leave us clueless. Having been part of several meetings like this has given me the opportunity to identify some very basic, but important, pointers for a successful meeting.
If you P.A.I.N.T. your meetings, they will be successful!
- Preparation: Prepare the attendee list, send meeting invites, book the venue, and have logistics in place – these are some of the basics. It’s essential to prepare well to start on time and have a smoothly flowing meeting.
- Agenda: All meetings should have an objective and an agenda, like points of discussion, preparation required by attendees if any, etc. Sending an agenda with discussion points beforehand acts as a compass for a meeting. It allows the facilitator or the meeting owner to keep discussions on time and on track.
- Involvement: Be thoughtful in choosing the attendees, chairperson for the meeting, and identifying a person to take notes. Be clear if the meeting requires your attendees to listen or contribute. The more involved your attendees are, the more fruitful your meeting will be. Provide appropriate job aids to engage.
- Notes: Meeting minutes should include details such as the date and time, agenda items, attendee list, ideas generated, action plans and any Q&A. It is important to record a meeting for several reasons – it acts as a review document for justifying time, agreed solutions or as an accountability tool.
- Task: Regardless of the reason for the meeting, attendees should have clear takeaways. A meeting is far more successful if attendees walk out knowing who’s doing what by when for the points discussed during the meeting.
- Suggested book: To find out more about a tool to improve your decision making (during meetings) check out Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono.
The next time you conduct a meeting, P.A.I.N.T. for success. For more on making your meetings more effective, check here, or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.