Prepare For Your Next Meeting

Preparing For Your Next Meeting

Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Meetings are no exception. Here are some suggestions as you prepare for your next meeting:

1. Decide if the meeting is necessary. Meetings can be costly and unnecessary meetings can be a huge drain on the scarce resource of time.

2. Be clear about your key meeting result or outcome. Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland most eloquently stated, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”.

3. Review your list of invitees. Be sure that the right people will be attending. Who could block your progress if they are not on board. Be sure to have a plan for involvement of key stakeholders. Be sure to invite the following people. Who are the right people to attend?

Relevant subject matter experts
Empowered decision makers
Key stakeholders
Important implementers

4. Consider room setup and materials needed. Rooms set up in a circle tend to encourage equality and discussion. Classroom set ups tend to lull people into a passive listening mindset.

5. Distribute the meeting notice and agenda prior to the meeting. MMP Plan and MyMeetingPro HD iPhone and iPad apps make agenda creation quick and easy.

6. Determine the decision-making method. Have you ever worked hard in a committee and presented your recommendation, only to have management say…..Naaaah….let’s do this other thing. What words describe your emotional reaction? Disillusionment, anger, pissed? Perhaps you were expecting that the decision making method was “Delegate with Constraints”. Unknowingly, the decision making method was “Gather Input from Team and Leader Decides”. Disappointment is as much about expectations as anything. It’s essential to set an appropriate decision making expectation. Here’s a list of decision making methods.

Decide and announce
Gather input from individuals and leader decides
Gather input from team and leader decides
Delegate to team with constraints

7. Identify the relevant ground rules.

Practice these relevant suggestions as you prepare for your next meeting. Together we can work together to eradicate bad meetings and seal the productivity drain that rob companies of precious time. If you would like to join me in this quest, join MyMeetingPro Facebook group dedicated to the eradication of bad meetings.

What has been your experience with meeting preparation?

  • These are wonderful tips for planning better meetings Dale. I don’t have many meetings right now, but that will change going forward and I can see how these will help me. Thanks!

    • I would define a meeting as 2 or more people getting together for some desired result or outcome. I bet you have more meetings than you think you do.

  • Excellent tips for not only planning an effective meeting but ensuring that we can stay on point in the session itself! Thanks ;).

    • Thanks Moira for stopping by. I hope that these tips help you to run better meetings.

  • Shamblesguru

    Now I encourage the use of realtime online Backchannel tools during all meetings, big and small

    … they really level the playing field see …. and

    … brilliant but can be threatening to organisers and presenters … who are inexperienced or lack confidence … that is not you of course 🙂

    • Thanks Shamblesguru for the tips! Happy Meetings!