two male colleagues discussing how to conduct effective meetings in an office

What Does It Take to Run Effective Meetings?

The answer: Get the basics right!

This answer may sound too simplistic, but it’s of utmost importance. Now, you may wonder; what are these basics? We can classify these basics into actions you must take before, during, and after the meeting.

Before the Meeting

Every focused meeting has a clear objective. On the top of a paper, write- “Why.” This will represent the oxygen that will breathe life into the meeting. An obvious purpose will help determine a useful agenda and focus the participants on the task at hand. Next, determine the key participants. After the “Why,” knowing “Who” will join the meeting could be a great time and energy saver for the participants and organizers. Someone should not attend a meeting only because they are part of a team, but because their presence can make a difference. Hence, determine the key decision-makers, the stakeholders, and influencers.

During the Meeting

Craft a clear, concise, and compelling agenda. The agenda should give participants a clear outline of the meeting. This is the “What” of effective meetings. Even with a clear agenda, meetings may decline into oblivion; we may have participants who talk too much, those who barely talk, and even those who veer off-topic. To remedy this problem, ensure there is a facilitator who gives everyone a chance to contribute.

After the Meeting

This is where most meeting organizers fail. They run a meeting and don’t reflect on it. It’s necessary to highlight what went well, what did not, and how you intend to improve for upcoming meetings.

I have attended countless ineffective meetings. I’ve even run a few of them. Reflecting on those experiences reveals to me that most meetings fail, not because of a lack of passion, not because the participants were not smart, but because these basics were not mastered. I invite you to reflect on a past meeting, then ask yourself why it succeeded or why it failed—you will realize that most failed meetings always boil down to—the basics not being mastered.

Schedule a free consultation with me for any inquiries regarding 121 leadership, personal development, and communication coaching. You can also connect with me via LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Until then, stay healthy, stay busy, stay happy.

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