Leading a meeting can be a stressful experience for any manager.
Let’s be honest, most employees don’t want to sit in meetings all day. Somewhere between getting a cup of coffee and discussing the second order of business their minds tend to wander off to all the work they have sitting on their desk or what they are doing that night.
This isn’t really the employee’s fault rather it is who is leading the meeting.
Keeping the attendee’s engaged and interested is paramount to a successful meeting and we have 5 tips that will help you lead meetings effectively.
#1 Have A Purpose
No-one wants to sit in a meeting where the format and purpose is all over the place.
What we mean by this is that right at the outset you should clearly state why the meeting is being held and what you want to accomplish by having it.
This means that everyone knows why they are there what they expect to achieve from the meeting itself.
#2 Create Room For Engagement
The last thing anyone wants is to be lectured to. It was OK back in university when you were happy enough to sit in the back of a large lecture hall but in a day to day working environment participation is key.
Allow everyone at the meeting to have their say. Leaders aren’t there to dominate they are there to facilitate. A meeting that allows for engagement is one where everyone feels part of the process.
#3 Avoid Monopolisation
While engagement is good make sure that no-one monopolises the meeting. We all know someone who loves to have their say and talk over everyone else.
A good way to combat this is to address it directly. Thank them for their input but encourage others to participate – laying the ground rules like this early on in the meeting will mean that everyone feels comfortably about speaking out.
#4 Reduce Distractions
Some meetings require iPads and laptops however try to keep these to a minimum.
A good rule is to ask everyone to keep their phone in their bag or pocket and also put it onto silent for the duration of the meeting. What you don’t want is a WhatsApp notification coming through on someone’s phone when you are in the middle of making an important point.
#5 Send A Follow Up Email
Finally don’t think that because the meeting has ended then that is the end of the discussion.
Leading an effective meeting means making sure everyone is on the same page with what was discussed. Send a follow up email or memo around all the people that attended to outline the main points and achievements of the meeting while also asking if they felt everything was covered.
Leading meetings effectively on a regular basis can take time however with these 5 tips you can create an environment where everyone feels like they can participate and you will reach your meeting objectives quickly and effectively.