Nine Tips On Conducting Fabulous Meetings
Ted Nicholas has founded 23 successful companies. He has written 14 best-selling books and conducted hundreds of seminars around the world.
He provides these tips to be used by superstar companies only!
1. Have fewer meetings!
Many regularly scheduled group meetings are unnecessary. Often a telephone call, memo or e-mail will suffice and is a better solution.
Meetings involving several staff members are very expensive. Just compute the hourly cost. You will be amazed! Clearly, it makes economic sense to only schedule meetings that are absolutely necessary.
2. Limit attendance.
Invite only the people who are absolutely necessary to the outcome of the meeting.
3. Start and stop meetings on a strict timetable.
Whether or not some people arrive late, start and stop at the scheduled time regardless.
4. Limit the time of the meeting.
Keep most meetings to 30 minutes. Only if absolutely necessary go to 45 minutes. In rare cases go to 60 minutes, or 90 minutes. If a subject is not covered within the scheduled time, simply shelve it to the next meeting.
5. Plan the meetings carefully.
Distribute a meeting agenda at least a day in advance. List the subjects of discussion. The decisions which need to be made. Who is responsible to implement the decision. The agreed upon completion date.
6. Preparation is critical for all attendees. Ask participants to prepare in advance for their part of the meeting agenda.
7. Appoint a person to keep notes of the meeting.
Ideally, keeping meeting notes is a rotating responsibility. Distribute the notes within 24 hours of the meeting. Tape record the meeting to be sure you have a record of what transpired. Especially important is the action to be taken. Who has agreed to do what by when?
8. Avoid the so-called open door policy. This is highly overrated. Do not conduct most one-on- one meetings in your office.
Some people just don't seem to know when to leave your work area and thus waste a lot of your time with small talk.
Instead, stop by the employee's office. Conduct your business. Then politely terminate the meeting and leave. You are much more in control of your time visiting an employee.
9. Use meeting performance as an important part of your periodic employee evaluations.
An evaluation can be an ideal time to communicate with an employee as to whether or not they are "getting it" insofar as your meeting culture.
I've observed that most small, medium and even giant companies unnecessarily allow meetings to waste endless hours of time of numerous employees.
For example, I'm a shareholder in Nestle, the world's largest food company. I also know several top executives there and have heard them complain about how Nestle wastes so much time on non-productive meetings. Indeed, if shareholders were to be made aware of how much money is being wasted, I'm sure they would not be pleased.
Put the nine fabulous proven meeting procedures in place in your organization. I promise that your company's productivity and success margin will dramatically improve.
Meetings are one of the biggest time-savers around. Email is another, although email could easily be classified as a meeting, just in a different form. Be bold, take action without checking with everyone, apologize (only if it backfires!) later.
The Sacramento Executive