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People at your organization spend a lot of time in meetings. You may have monthly organization meetings, task force meetings, group meetings for projects, and more. Meetings are an important part of the business day because they allow you to plan actions, make decisions, and keep your work moving. Meetings are a time to bring people together to make decisions so that you can start taking appropriate actions.
The way you manage and run your meetings is important. Everything you do, from the way you plan the meeting, to logistics, to the way the room is set up, all have an effect on member involvement and participation. There are many actions you can take before, during, and after a meeting to maximize its success.
How to Run an Effective Meeting
Running a successful meeting involves more than just following an agenda. Many different factors come into play. It’s important that meeting participants feel like their voices are being heard. It’s also crucial that participants understand what the desired outcome and objective of a meeting is before you get started.
People walk through the door with different priorities. They may report to different managers, or have different job functions, not to mention the fact that they will likely have different personality types and communication styles. It’s vital to create a space where people can express their individuality, but at the same time you need to be able to bring them back to a consensus. In order to do this, it’s ideal to plan meetings with smaller groups when possible. When selecting attendees for meetings, consider their job roles, experience, and length of time at the company. Be sure that the attendees who need to be at the meeting in order for it to succeed are available.
Prior to having the meeting, create an agenda so everyone knows what you’re going to cover. Decide what you want to accomplish and establish some goals for the meeting. Ultimately, the purpose of your meeting will determine the meeting’s focus, agenda, and attendees.
Facilitating the Meeting
Introduce yourself and your role, and get everyone to introduce themselves. Consider doing an icebreaker activity so that everyone loosens up and gets to know one other a little better. An effective meeting leader sets a positive and productive tone for the meeting.
The meeting starts with reviewing your agenda, goals, and outcomes. Throughout the meeting, the meeting leader ensures that everything stays on track and reels people in if they are monopolizing the meeting. It’s best to involve meeting attendees in the accomplishment of meeting goals to keep them engaged and invested in the meeting. Create a follow-up plan with action items and then publish meeting minutes highlighting what was discussed, sending it to participants within 24 hours of the meeting. It’s common for different people to come away from a meeting with different interpretations of what happened, so it’s important to follow up with meeting minutes that include tasks that were assigned and their deadlines so that everyone is on the same page.
Meetings can be valuable and productive if they are properly planned and implemented. Half the battle is just getting everyone together at the same time and place, selecting an appropriate and comfortable meeting space, and ordering catering and other services. That’s when meeting room software like Resource Central can come in handy.
Resource Central streamlines tasks like finding and booking a meeting room, ordering extra services from vendors, and inviting attendees, freeing you up to focus on planning and running more effective meetings. Meetings are a vital part of your business operations, but only if they are managed with care. Eliminate booking errors, simplify meeting planning, and save time with Resource Central for Microsoft Outlook® and Exchange. Contact us today to set up a free trial or free online demo!