7 tips for running successful meetings

It’s not always easy to run successful meetings, let alone ensure people are happy to attend. Here are seven ways to make sure you're leading effective meetings that are worth everyone’s time:

1. Know what you want

What do you hope to achieve through your meetings? Can your goals be accomplished without a formal gathering? Sometimes meetings aren’t even necessary.

If you do schedule a time, create a written agenda for participants, including key topics and the names of people who might lead certain discussions. Distribute it in advance so everyone can prepare.

2. Invite the right people

Ever attended meetings that have little or nothing to do with your job? Don’t be the leader who selects the wrong attendees. Make sure everyone invited to participate in your meetings has something valuable to offer and a stake in the outcome.

3. Be punctual

It seems like there’s always someone running late when it comes to meetings. Unless that person is your boss, make every effort to start on time for those who did show up when requested.

4. Stay on target

Those who know how to run successful meetings understand that a key part of the job is steering attendees in the right direction. If people get off-track, direct them back to the agenda.

5. Be inclusive

Some participants will speak up more than others. If someone is making all of the comments, start asking others for their input. If you’re running effective meetings, you make everyone feel a part of the idea-generating team.

6. Stick to the schedule

Meetings should wrap up on time. If there’s more to discuss, ask if people can stay or plan on a separate discussion later.

7. Follow up

The process doesn't end after the discussion closes. You’ll want to send a summary to attendees as soon as you can afterward. This will remind participants about what was accomplished and what needs to be done.

Do you lead a lot of meetings in your organisation? What tips do you have for running successful meetings?

This article originally appeared as 7 Tips for Running Effective Meetings on the Robert Half OfficeTeam blog.

Tags: Productivity

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