When it comes to company meetings, a good meeting can leave you and your employees feeling energized and encouraged—and a bad meeting can have the exact opposite impact, making everyone feel exhausted, frustrated, and even unhappy with your management. To avoid unproductive and unfulfilling meetings, here are five tips for leading a meeting that will help you and your employees stay productive, creative, and happy.
Prepare by setting goals and expectations
Of course, meeting preparation should include having an agenda of topics that need to be addressed and discussed, but to lead a great meeting, your preparation should also include setting goals and expectations. You should know what is going to be discussed, but also have a clear goal of what you and your employees need to achieve during the meeting. By being clear about your expectations for the meeting, you will be able to keep the meeting on-track and focused on your end goal.
Start and end your meeting on time
When a meeting does not start on time or ends up being longer than anticipated, your employees may become bored. At worst, they might even feel like you are not respecting their time. By starting your meeting in a timely fashion and ending when it is scheduled to end, you are showing that you have good management skills and respect your employee’s time.
Communication is key
While you’re leading a meeting, communication is critical. Along with clearly articulating your ideas and goals, you also want to make sure you keep your team focused by redirecting any off-topic discussions and minimizing side chatter. Good communication during the meeting also means making sure everyone feels like they are being heard, and might also mean asking questions or seeking out the opinions of others in the meeting, particularly teammates who you know might be hesitant to voice their thoughts.
Allow time for discussion and creativity
Though you should strive to keep your meeting on-focus, a good meeting allows time for discussion, creativity, and collaboration. Factor in some time for spontaneous discussions or any brainstorming sessions that may arise, as long as it is still on-topic for the meeting. This can not only lead to great, unexpected ideas, but fosters a positive environment where everyone feels like they are allowed to be creative and voice their own opinions.
Don’t forget to follow-up
Even once the meeting is over, show your leadership and management skills by following up on anything that was discussed or decided at the meeting. If tasks were assigned, follow up with each person and make sure they know what is expected of them, and arrange for any additional one-on-one meeting as necessary. By following-up after the meeting, you can make sure all the productive discussion doesn’t go to waste, and ensure that your team is getting started on achieving any post-meeting goals or tasks.
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