You might have heard the term “death by meetings”. While it is true that meetings can be a huge drain on resources, they do have the potential to contribute to great results. So how can you transform your team meetings?
Get the team setting the agenda
As the leader of the team, there will always be things that you have in mind for the meetings. Trouble is in my experience, when all of the agenda and meeting content comes from the leader, there tends to be huge levels of passiveness and disengagement. If you want to have better meetings, get the bulk of the agenda coming from the team.
Keep them short
I have during my career in accountancy spent huge amounts of time in meetings. What I discovered is that the shorter the meetings are, the more effective they are. This is partly because people are more focussed. It is also due to the fact that most of us have a very short attention span. One thing that is particularly helpful in keeping meetings short and focussed is to do them by conference call or webinar rather than in person.
Give people a chance to speak
If you are leading the meeting, you should be speaking less and listening more. You also should aim to take care to ensure that all of the meeting attendees get a chance to speak. There will always be a few who, if you allow them, will dominate meetings and not always with great contributions.
As a leader of a meeting, you are as much a facilitator as a person who is chairing. Facilitating essentially is about ensuring that the ideas are collected, built on and an agreed point is reached. Think of yourself as the conductor rather than the musician and you will go a long way towards effectively facilitating meetings.
Only record key actions
There are a few meetings that will require formal minuting. Most don’t and simply require a record of the key actions and who is taking them forward.
Make sure you follow up on actions
It’s vital that you have an effective process for following up on actions agreed at previous meetings. Why? The simple answer is that if you don’t, people will see them as unimportant and not follow through. Without follow through, nothing happens.
The Bottom Line
Meetings can be a catalyst to great results or just a drain on resources. So what do you need to start to do differently to get better results from meetings?
Duncan Brodie helps accountants and business professionals to become highly effective leaders and achieve more career success. He invites you to sign up for his free audio e-course
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.