6 Tips to Run an Effective Meeting: Avoid These Common Mistakes Everyone Is Making

February 19, 2019

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6 Tips To Run An Effective Meeting

Meetings have become a dreaded word these days. Long hours, circular conversation and someone always has to go off on a tangent. It's no wonder many business owners find them unproductive. There are so many downsides to meetings - it’s a miracle you turn up to a meeting, let alone, take comprehensive notes. However, when you finally run an effective meeting, it can be super valuable and rewarding

Before we get into how to run an effective meeting, what are the key elements of an effective meeting?

The first key is to look at how the meeting has been structured.

Allowing input from others in meetings, while also keeping it structured and on time is commendable but can also be tricky. Getting meeting attendees to weigh in on the issues is a mark of a good meeting, while allowing someone to hijack the focus of your meeting is unproductive. There is a fine line between the freedom to express opinion and the leeway to steer the meeting off on a tangent. That’s why it’s always important to have structured key points to guide your discussion, and taking notes can help to keep your thought process in check.

Taking notes during a meeting is crucial because it tells you how you’ve spent your time, outlines the next few actionable steps you can take and helps you effectively collaborate.

What are your takeaways?

Is this meeting focused on the block or on a further course of action? If there isn’t a further course of action that you can take at this point, is there any reason for your meeting?

When evaluating if your meeting was good, it's important to understand what you can take away from it. It's true that the nature of meetings has changed and because of this, people gain different things from meetings. This can lead to a tendency to invite anyone and everyone into a meeting - but do too many cooks in the kitchen really spoil the broth?

With the advent of technology and globalization, companies have changed considerably. Between the remote work revolution and multinational corporations, many companies use the internet to facilitate their day-to-day operations. Meetings are no longer the presentation-focused events they once were. They’ve become key ways for on-the-go, remote and contract partners to collaborate.

However, for a successful meeting, its always important to think about your motivations before inviting people or joining a meeting.

So, how do we ensure the quality of an effective meeting?

Perhaps the lesson we’ve learnt from this is that it’s more important to be prepared for a meeting. After all, when you’re prepared, you can take what you want from the meeting. Here are our top 5 takeaways.

Takeaways for an effective meeting:

1. Look at the agenda.

What’s the topic of conversation? Why are you going to meet? Going into a meeting with no knowledge of the content or aim is a sure way to waste your time.

2. Who’s going to be there?

What are the motivations and agendas of the key people attending the meeting? Being able to anticipate what people will bring to the table can help you predict how a meeting will go. This means you can better prepare yourself to have an effective collaborative conversation with the other people at the table.

3. Is there anything stopping you from running an effective meeting? 

When you’re working in a large company or with multiple partners, you’ll realise each party faces different blocks. If you can remove these potential issues before the meeting, your meeting could progress a lot more effectively. If you’re lucky, you might even eliminate the need for the meeting!

4. Review your notes.

One of the biggest issues after a meeting is follow-up. What was agreed? Who's accountable? Notes, or meeting minutes can help with this issue, but only if they are reviewed once the meeting is over. It will also help facilitators track topics and trends that continuously appear - and chronic blockers. If taking notes will stop you from participating actively, let me know and I can join the conversation as your virtual assistant. I'll tell you who said what and highlight the action points for you! I know, I'm pretty awesome.

5. What kind of meeting is it?

Whether it's a phone call, conference call, video call or in-person meeting, make sure you have all the information before the meeting. Being prepared also means that you're prepared logistically. Wasting time on technology issues can disrupt the flow of the meeting and take you away from an effective conversation.

6. Remind yourself to remind others

If it's a crucial meeting, send out a reminder to your participants, particularly external ones. They might still be late to the party, but at least you won't be stuck waiting and wondering if they're late or forgot!

The ways in which we can collaborate and interact has changed a great deal in recent years. It’s important to understand that the way we talk and interact with one another must also change to keep up.

Don't just have an effective meeting, Meet Better™

With Notiv, running an effective meeting no longer needs to be a concern. Notiv isa collaborative way to record, revisit and share meeting insights and outcomes with your clients. By recording your meetings and transcribing them to highlight important moments, you can stay engaged in your meeting conversations and drive better outcomes for your clients. 

To learn more about our product, download the app now for free on iOS or Android

Otherwise, if you are looking for more ways to empower your meetings, check out our meeting hacks for productive conversations!

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