There are good meetings and there are bad meetings. Bad meetings seem to go on forever—chairs feel like school chairs, air is bad, and a sleepy atmosphere prevails. After the meeting is over, no one has the time nor energy for questions. Good meetings, on the other hand, leave participants energized and feeling like they’ve really accomplished something.
So apart from holding your assembly in one of the accessible conference centers in Michigan, how else can you make your meeting effective? Christina Hamlett who writes for the Houston Chronicles offers these useful tips:
“Prepare an agenda for the meeting that defines its purpose, lists topics for discussion in order of their importance and time-sensitivity, and identifies who is expected to attend and contribute content. Establish time estimates to address each topic.
Start the meeting on time and briefly review your expectations of what you would like the meeting to accomplish within the time allocated. Clarify your role in the group — team leader, facilitator, trainer, arbitrator. If new faces are in attendance, have participants introduce themselves.
Write down every idea that is proposed even if it doesn’t seem feasible. Effective planning meetings encourage brainstorming and two-way communication to arrive at innovative solutions. Stay firmly on message by not allowing participants to deviate from the agenda or keep revisiting issues that have already been temporarily tabled or resolved. Provide everyone with the opportunity to express opinions and articulate concerns.”
Another important thing that you have to consider are the breaks. Be sure to have adequate breaks and recesses depending on the length of your meeting. Additionally, watch the body language of your participants and make adjustments as necessary. If they cease to be interested in the meeting, maybe you can have the break earlier than what’s on schedule. Be sure to set up the break in other rooms to allow participants a walk and a change of scenery.
Running an effective meeting is more than just sending out a message that your team is supposed to meet at one of the best conference centers in Michigan. Structure and order must be the top priority of your meeting, for without these elements, your assembly can go on forever yet not accomplish a single thing.
(Source: How to Conduct an Effective Planning Meeting, Houston Chronicle)