How much time do you spend in meetings that seem to achieve nothing? After reading this article we hope you reclaim that time and put it to better use in your business.
A lot of meetings seem to go nowhere, at the time it feels like everyone is on the same page, but the same agenda items keep reappearing time after time. This can occur due to a number of factors. Perhaps attendees are running from one meeting to another, quickly shifting their focus and loosing track of all the items they need to action. Or, perhaps attendees are leaving a meeting with little clarity about what has been decided and what the next steps are.
Two small and simple actions can remedy this and ensure your meeting items don’t loose their momentum once the meeting is finished.
Firstly, ensure meetings notes are kept and circulated promptly after the meeting.
Meeting notes should be clear and concise. They help inform people of decisions reached and any commitments made and keep everyone on the same page. They don’t need to include everything that was said, but rather the key points and specific commitments for each topic. Circulating notes quickly after a meeting also signals a sense of urgency to recipients and allows you to capture what happened before your memory gets filled with other items.
Secondly, ensure an individual takes responsibility for each task that comes out of the meeting and follow up on these commitments.
Following discussions of each topic, pause and agree on the next steps to be taken, decide who will be responsible for what and establish clear deadlines. Be flexible to negotiation at this time regarding deadlines and consider what makes the most sense. (try to avoid the default of “by the next meeting”). Finally assign someone to check in periodically to ensure commitments are kept or re-evaluated if need by.
Following up may feel like you’re micro managing, but think of it more as project-management. Someone needs to be the project “leader”, it doesn’t mean you don’t trust people to perform you’re merely helping everyone to stay on track.