meetinghandsDid you just return from that horrid Monday Morning Meeting and wondering “why me?”.  Well, Tiffiny, Jeff and I often feel that way, too, on various meetings we attend.  Tiffiny gives us a great idea on a checklist and Jeff talks of the cost of meetings this Monday. 

Before I even get to the scheduling a meeting, I want to meet with purpose and see five things are needed:

  1. The Purpose – Why is this meeting necessary? Could it be handled with an email or memo? Are the correct people being invited?
  2. The Meeting Leader – Identify who will be leading or facilitating the meeting. If this is not the natural leader, make sure the facilitator and team members understand the function of the facilitator is to keep the meeting moving forward successfully.  The facilitator needs to understand they are in charge of the meeting regardless of the position to the team members
  3. The Time Frame – People need to know the time they will be leaving the meeting.  Meetings can always end early but a well managed meeting will realize that others will have other obligations beyond the meeting.
  4. The Agenda – A written agenda PRIOR to the meeting is a must and should include location and particulars like parking, road closures, etc.  A meeting without an agenda in my book is a social event.  An agenda is more than a list of who is speaking, it gives the framework to get to the desired outcome.
  5. The Desired Outcome – People want to know at the beginning of the meeting, what will we be trying to achieve.  Some meetings will not meet the desired outcome, to the facilitator will be sure to let all know what was accomplished on the path to the desired outcome.

All these can be expressed in an email to the attendees so they come not only well prepared but ready to work.

Now, there are different types of meetings and all have their place, but letting people know before hand is key:

  • Informational – learn something new; getting people on board; town hall or meet the new CEO type of meeting.
  • Check-in – the Monday Morning Sales meeting is the best example and this meeting is best cone standing up like a team huddle or via conference call.  It should be quick, succinct and somewhat motivational.
  • Collaboration – people working on a new idea or project – think brainstorming or problem solving
  • Working – like collaborative meetings, there will often be problem solving but these meetings are very helpful when a project needs to be complete and the team working together will help keep the procrastination at bay.  These even work when several in the team are just a head on a computer feed.   

Meeting with Purpose is essential in our time starved competitive world.