“Meetings are at the heart of an effective organization, and each meeting is an opportunity to clarify issues, set new directions, sharpen focus, create alignment, and move objectives forward.”
Paul Axtell, Meetings Matter: 8 Powerful Strategies for Remarkable Conversations
What steps can you take to ensure you’ve effectively prepared for a meeting?
- Knowing if it is necessary to have a meeting.
- Decide the type of meeting you are going to have.
- Establish the purpose and the expected outcome.
- Identify and invite key participants.
- Compliance with legislation.
- Decide meeting location, room layout and catering arrangements.
- Prepare a notice, this should include the date, time, agenda, and venue of the meeting. Distribute the notice to the members in good time for the meeting.
List and explain three techniques you could use to effectively chair a meeting.
Be Prepared in advance for the meeting
Draft an agenda for the meeting which reflects the purpose of the meeting. Prioritize the items according to importance. Being prepared will enable the chair to guide the meeting in the proper direction rather than allow it to drift aimlessly.
Encourage and manage meeting participant contributions
Encouraging and stimulating meeting participant discussion is critical to the successful implementation of any decision taken. This can mean ensuring that everyone has had the opportunity to be heard by drawing out the quieter, more reflective participants; whilst managing and minimising the louder, more vocal participants and constructively resolving any conflict that arises within the meeting.
Summarise key decisions and actions agreed
Periodically summarising what has been discussed so far around a specific agenda item will help clarify and focus the meeting participants, enabling them to make a clear decision and move on. If the action points have been captured during the meeting, time can be allocated at the end of the meeting to summarise the agreed decisions/actions back to the meeting participants.