Bring Energy to Your Organization Through Effective Meetings
I work with a lot of leaders in various organizations. One thing I hear repeatedly, regardless of industry or size of organization is: “We have a lot of meetings around here”. A common concern I hear from many of my high performing clients is their calendars are so blocked with meetings that they need to do work outside of work hours. This can leave people frustrated, resentful and unproductive. Not good energy.
Meetings are important because, by definition, a meeting is “an assembly of people coming together for discussion”. In its simplest form, we need meetings for collaborative communication. But like all communications, meetings should be guided by the values of purpose and respect and impact. These values bring positive energy to an organization.
- Always keep the outcome in mind (Purpose).
Whoever calls a meeting should always be clear on the purpose and the outcome of the meeting. This should be stated at the beginning and at the end of the meeting. The leader of the meeting is responsible to guide the meeting towards the outcome. Having an agenda to accomplish this is helpful. Holding a meeting without an agenda and timeframes should be the exception, not the norm.
- Consider the needs of others (Respect).
Being thoughtful about holding a meeting is respectful. Prior to setting up a meeting, some questions to ask include: Is holding a meeting necessary or could communication happen in a more efficient or streamlined way (email, phone call etc.)? Do all the people I am planning to invite need to be there? How can I make the meeting the most efficient as possible? Always remember, as the meeting host, how you treat your participant’s time demonstrates respect.
- Create energy and momentum (Impact).
There is nothing worse than attending a meeting that goes in circles or wastes people’s time. As the meeting host, your job is to help the participants see progress and accomplishment toward the outcomes of the meeting. Be clear on decisions that are made, actions that are decided and next steps that are to be taken. Helping the group feel productive when they leave a meeting creates good energy and that energy is multiplied by the number of people in the room.
How you lead meetings demonstrates your values and impacts the energy of the organization. Be intentional to slow down and construct meetings in a way that builds your credibility and helps your organization move forward.