All too often, employees in a small business complain about mandatory meetings, especially if you are a growing business. This phase is inevitable as Verne Harnish writes in his book Mastering The Rockefeller Habits. Meetings are important and the meeting content and organization is just as important. Here are five tips to get the most out of meetings.
- Meeting Purpose
The purpose of a meeting is to address specific issues.
- Hi-level meetings. Weekly team meetings should be kept hi-level to discuss issues that impact the entire team or the company. Examples of hi-level meetings will discuss your annual business strategies or quarterly goals.
- One-on-One or Team Meetings. For specific issues, have a separate specific team meeting to understand how the company’s goals trickle down to the team level, or have a 1-1 meeting with the individual to discuss day-to-day activities or where they need help.
- Take Notes
Not everybody can stay for the duration of the meeting. Designate a member of the team to take notes. If someone has to leave early, they can read about what they missed. Also, it is an excellent way for the company to track progress. If an action item was addressed two quarters ago and the company is still talking about it, this is problematic. But it is effective that such a problem can be spotted due to the tracking of notes.
Have a set time/day for your meetings so it’s on everyone’s calendar and invite the appropriate people. Utilize an agenda to break out topics and allocate time to each topic. Ensure team members have allocated time during the meeting to catch up with each other. Utilize your team members and their time to their fullest capacity.
- Set Restrictions
If one member of the team is having an issue, unless you know it can be solved quickly using a team effort, schedule a separate time to focus on that issue to come to resolution. Have rules and restrictions around how you will conduct a meeting and what will be discussed.
- Be Adaptable
Not every member will be able to make every meeting. Adapt your agenda and schedule to enable the most participation. If someone needs to share information first for a few minutes before going to another scheduled appointment, feel free to accommodate them on the schedule. Do not be inflexible on rearranging times to accommodate team members – after all the purpose of the meetings is to make sure as much information as possible is shared.
Meetings are a way to focus your energies on specific issues and to walk away with action items that are owned by team members who will be accountable for them. Productive meetings will leave you feeling a sense of accomplishment and you can see tangible results. Are you having productive meetings?
Here is the link to Verne Harnish’s book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mastering-the-rockefeller-habits-verne-harnish/1013478367?ean=9780978774950
Patrick Coughlin is a Marketing Intern at Consultants 2 Go.