Meeting Strategies and Death by Meeting

meeting strategies for successGood, Bad, or Ugly?

Meeting strategies can bolster an organization, or alienate your best staff members.

In most organizations, meetings are a part of the landscape. Whether it’s two or three people chatting by the coffee maker, or a work group, or a general, all-hands-on-deck full staff gathering, meetings can be an efficient way to share information, gain feedback and develop consensus.

Poorly conceived, meetings can also damage productivity and destroy morale.

So how do you develop meetings that are productive rather than destructive?

Five Meeting Strategies:

  • First, have a material goal for every meeting. Holding a meeting without a pressing need generates resentment at the waste of potentially productive time.
  • Second, have the right people, and only the right people in the room. You may want to invite attendees for only the portion of the agenda relative to them. On the other hand, you also don’t want to make a poor decision because a critical player was not invited to participate.
  • Third, remember that meetings alone do not build morale. Do not assume that simply holding more meetings or including team building exercises will improve sentiments. Forced camaraderie will be seen as exactly that – forced. And morale can sink even lower. Meetings are not a substitute for responsible and competent leadership.
  • Fourth, have a written record of the topics discussed, commitments made and the deadlines for promised action. It’s too easy to let deadlines slip, or forget about actions that need to be taken.
  • Fifth, keep it simple. Stay focused. Make decisions. Respect the time of participants. A staff meeting with eight participants, which takes a half hour longer than necessary, has just cost the organization 4 hours of salary expense.

Do it Right.

Good staff members will appreciate an efficient, well-run meeting. A meeting is not the place for a leader to grandstand, or show off, or pontificate. A meeting should be all about communication, goals, and reaching effective decisions efficiently.

What are your meeting strategies? Are your meetings effective? Take stock and make adjustments. Make your meetings a source of organizational strength, rather than a deadly vulnerability.

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