A meeting is a gathering of people to present or exchange information, plan joint activities, make decisions, or carry out actions already agreed upon. Almost every group activity or project requires meetings.
True, and not true. By definition, yes. And necessary, yes. But most of us know the reality of meetings. They are often wandering group talks or arguments, characterized by:
- Lots of talking
- Closed-minded, impatient listening
- Distracted, or frustrated, or bored attendees uncertain of purpose or their role
- Lots of time spent, but too often without meaningful, purposeful output
We attend meetings like that. And heck, (on the rarest of occasions??) we plan, lead, and manage meetings like that.
Effective meetings can be critical to a business’ success. Poorly executed meetings can be counterproductive and destructive on numerous levels.
Knowing how to hold efficient and effective meetings is critical to achieving success with any group endeavor. In a good meeting, participants’ ideas are heard, decisions are made through group discussion and with reasonable speed, and activities are focused on desired results. Good meetings access the depth and breadth of a group’s capability, leveraging the combined and collective strengths and offsetting or minimizing individual weaknesses.
Good meetings require good leaders and good participants. A good leader understands the purpose of a meeting, makes sure that all participants understand this purpose, helps keep the discussion on track, works with participants to carry out the business of the meeting in the time allotted, and tries to ensure that everyone is involved appropriately in discussions.
Good participants come to a meeting prepared for the business at hand—with presentation or reports ready and thoughts and questions on the meeting’s issues thought out and organized. They also bring to the table their best listening skills and group manners.
Download and take a look at how you and your team can get more out of your meetings.