How to Run a Meeting and Set Simple, Achievable Goals

Owning a business brings with it a series of responsibilities and activities you need to perform. Most importantly, you need to constantly be in touch with your employees, and tell them what you expect. To do this, you should run meetings. This is no easy task, as you should keep the people engaged and make them understand what you want to tell them. Here are a few tips on how to run a meeting and transmit your message.

People discussing at a coffee meeting

Why are meetings important?

Before learning how to run a meeting, you should understand the meaning of a meeting. It is essential for the team as a whole, but also for each individual member of the team. Although many tend to disregard meetings, it can contribute a lot to their feeling of belonging. A meeting should unite a group of people and assure them they are worthy to be part of it.

Also, it can improve communication among the group. During a meeting, the employer can tell his employees what he expects from them, and can assign them different tasks. Also, the employees can tell whatever goes wrong, and offer suggestions. They are more likely to do their job better if they get to talk about their needs and requirements.

How to run a meeting

If you want to motivate your employees to do their job, you should learn how to run a meeting they will remember. By formulating your ideas clearly and validating their opinions, you can be sure they will keep in mind whatever you will discuss. Here are a few strategies for a good meeting.

1.      Clearly state the purpose of the meeting

First of all, you have to decide why you are running the meeting. Your employees’ time is worth something important, such as new tasks, a change in management, or a problem you want to consult them about. If the purpose is unclear even for you, it means you don’t have to run a meeting. Then, to make sure you’ll get everything from your employees, tell them what the meeting will be about.

2.      Invite the people who should be there

Depending on the purpose of the meeting, you should then choose the audience. You shouldn’t discuss every matter with all the employees, so you have to filter them. Make sure all those who are invited are directly concerned with what you will discuss.

If they can contribute in any way to what you seek, it means you should invite them. Also, if they are part of a department which is subject to change, the problem concerns them. It’s not effective to gather a large number of people and then present matters who are important only to a part of them.

3.      Devise a schedule and respect it

There’s nothing more effective than being organized. Therefore, put up a list of all the matters you need to discuss during the meeting. Then, allocate several minutes for each topic. This will work as the schedule you need to follow, and that your interlocutors should know.

When you send them their invitation, also attach this schedule. Knowing the topics beforehand will help them pay more attention to what you have to say. Also, whenever the discussion diverts from the schedule, make sure you return to it. Show your employees you respect their time by staying on point as much of the time as possible.

4.      Encourage people to participate

While learning how to run a meeting, you should learn to take notice of everyone present. Meetings are for discussions, not for monologues, so allow your employees to say what they think. Show them you value their opinions by encouraging them to offer their suggestions. Most of the time, they might offer you a new perspective on the matter. In fact, this is the real purpose of a meeting.

However, make sure some people don’t speak more than the others. Some might be tempted to monopolize the discussion, and you shouldn’t let it happen. Whenever someone does this, tell them politely you should stick to the schedule and let other people talk as well.

People in a meeting room

5.      Ask people to leave their phones away

The biggest productivity and attention killers are smartphones, which can easily distract a person from anything. If you allow your employees to bring the devices with them during the meeting, you can be sure they won’t pay attention to you. Therefore, ask them to abandon their phones for a short period of time, and then they can return to their addictive activities.

6.      Create a reputation

To do this, you should first stick to the schedule and be punctual. Start the meeting on time, and end it on time. If you respect the agenda and don’t deviate from the subject, people will appreciate you more. Also, they won’t skip your meetings, as they know you value their time and are aware they have some other things to do.

7.      Email the participants a follow up

To make sure everybody has understood the meeting correctly, make a summary of its essential points. Then, send this summary to your employees. Also, mention all the other important things they should remember, such as tasks, changes, and deadlines. This way, everyone will be in touch to what they have to do.

If you want to make sure everything is understood right away, you can summarize the outline of the meeting even before. When you and your employees get together, you can print the summary and give it to them as a plan. This way, they can follow you more easily and, at the end of the meeting, already know what they have to do.

Four people talking during a meeting

Summing up

The secrets on how to run a meeting are not complicated at all. If you respect your coworkers and value their time, they will reward you with their attention. By keeping everything simple and civilized, you should be sure you don’t bore your listeners, you kindle their interest, and can count on them to do the tasks they have to do.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4.

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