Conducting Effective Meetings

I once worked at a company that I love down to this day, but one thing I despised was the way in which meetings were conducted. You see, almost every week, managers would be summoned to meetings which very frequently lasted over four to five hours. In my opinion, unless you’re in parliamentary debate or some kind of nuclear testing stage, meetings should be brief, to-the-point and follow an agenda.

This article will share a few tips on how to conduct meaningful meetings.

  1. Follow an agenda. The agenda should be circulated a few days before the meeting, so that each person has the opportunity to prepare for the meeting. Following an agenda also ensures that participants waste no time on tangential information. (Yes, we may all love cricket, but the board room isn’t the place to discuss scores or ducks!)
  2. Create teams so that there is meaningful collaboration. Meetings which comprise teams empower participants as they feel part of a group and also give them support where necessary. The collaborative effect of planning together can even give rise to better results.
  3. Set time limits on presentations. Okay, we know Johnny the CEO probably has more to talk about that Kenny the Manager, so we can set time limits within the agenda in the interest of ensuring that the meeting is as productive as it is efficient.
  4. Establishing expectations at the outset. This strategy guides communication from the beginning to the end of a meeting and ensures that each participant walks away feeling a sense of accomplishment from having attended the meeting.
  5. Minute-taking. Someone once told me that this approach was “too formal” for a simple group meeting. A few weeks later, the same group ended up in a ‘he-said/she-said’ scenario. Get my drift? Minutes ensure that there are clear action items so that future meetings are even more efficient.

Hopefully by following the steps outlined above, you would have saved more time and energy for all involved.

Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma Ali

Veoma Ali is an Advertising Executive, with a Ph.D in Communications and a Masters in Business Administration.