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Effective Meetings

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A short slide deck on how to make meetings more effective.

Veröffentlicht in: Leadership & Management
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Effective Meetings

  1. 1. Magnus Nord www.linkedin.com/in/magnusnord Effective Meetings
  2. 2. We’ve all been there. A meeting dragging on forever. You don’t even remember what you were supposed to talk about in the first place. Someone is jabbing away, having been talking for hours (it feels like) about some minute detail not even relevant. Wow, this must be such waste of money and time! If five people meet for 10 hours every week, that sums up to 2,500 hours a year. The Cost of Meetings If five people meet for 10 hours every week with salaries $75,000 per year $105,000 It equals $2,040 a week, or $105,000 yearly
  3. 3. Can meetings be more effective? The most important thing: Respect other people’s time! Make sure to have a well defined purpose, and even goals, for the meeting. Distirubte the agenda beforehand. This helps people decide if this is a meeting they need to attend at all, or should delegate. Set up common ground rules for meetings, and agree on them up front. Three Tips for Effective Meetings Always have a purpose and agenda. Set up common ground rules. Consider if a meeting is necessary. !
  4. 4. Make sure the meeting starts and ends on time. No excuses. Don’t wait for people. Start without them. And, when they arrive: ignore them. Do not recap what you’ve already gone through. Do not greet them. Simply keep going. And, if you are late to a meeting (as if that would ever happen, right?): do not excuse yourself or say anything as you enter the room. Just quietly sit down and join in. Meeting Ground Rules Start and finish on time Wait for no one Ignore latecomers
  5. 5. Only one person should speak at a time. Do not engage in “meetings within meetings”. Stick do the agenda and do not drift. Everyone invited should participate in the meeting. Why else are they there? Make sure everyone gets to have their say. Do not let anyone hijack the meeting and talk the whole time. That is, no grandstanding. If you don’t agree, speak up! If you are silent, you agree. Meeting Ground Rules One speaker at a time Everyone participates No grandstanding Silence is agreement !
  6. 6. As previously mentioned, distribute an agenda beforehand. Also include the purpose of the meeting, and goals you want to achieve. Do you meet to discuss something? Or is the purpose to make a decision? If you are going to make a decision, prepare that item before the meeting. And most importantly, stick to the agenda! Do not derail. One way to help do this is to introduce a parking lot. More about that later. Meeting Ground Rules Purpose, goal and agenda distributed Discussion vs Decision Time boxed events Prepare decision points before meeting …and stick to it!
  7. 7. The agenda should contain: • A descriptive name • Date and time • Location • Participants • Items and owner/driver for each The items should be timeboxed, but not only that; they should contain the actual times. It is not ok to talk about for example “Item B” for 10 minutes when the time is 10.20. It is a good idea to have an item in the beginning saying hello and recapping the purpose and goals of the meeting. It also gives latecomers some leeway. A parking lot can be used to catch off-topic discussions and bring them up at the end if time permits. Otherwise they can be added to a new meeting agenda if deemed necessary. Example Agenda Decision Meeting 2014-11-04 10.00 The Conference room Participants: Magnus, John, Eva, Adam 10.00 Welcome and purpose Magnus 10.05 Item A John 10.15 Item B Magnus 10.25 Parking Lot 10.30 Meeting ends
  8. 8. Always take minutes. Clearly state decision points in the minutes, and ensure common understanding before decisions being made. Write down action points and make sure to follow-through. Use a parking lot to catch off-topic subjects. Meeting Ground Rules Follow-through on action points Use a parking lot Ensure common understanding Always take minutes
  9. 9. And of course, no phones, tablets or laptops in meetings. If someone has work to do, it is better not to attend. If you have a crucial phone call that you must answer: let everyone know as the meeting starts. The exception might be if you’re using your laptop to take notes, and you are the designated minute keeper. Meeting Ground Rules No phones, tablets or laptops.
  10. 10. In addition to making the meetings you attend effective, you should consider what meetings you actually attend. It is way too easy to accept invites without giving much thought to if the meeting is a priority, and if you need to attend in person. Or if a meeting is the right solution at all. Which brings us to the last topic… Meeting Decision Tree ? IS THE MEETING A PRIORITY? IS IT MY PRIORITY? IS A MEETING NECESSARY? YES YES YES NO NO NO DECLINE DELEGATE MAKE THE MEETING EFFECTIVE SCHEDULE A TIME SLOT TO DO THE WORK
  11. 11. Use your calendar to schedule your priorities. Don’t let other people use it as a dumping ground for their work. The first instinct should be to say ‘no’ to an invite, especially if there is no agenda, or no clear purpose of the meeting. A bonus tip is to schedule a weekly review where you go through your inbox, and prioritize your work. This is a great time to set aside time in your calendar for your top priorities. Schedule Priorities Use your calendar to schedule your priorities. Schedule a weekly review. Do not automatically accept meeting invites.
  12. 12. Contact me on LinkedIn and let me know what you think! www.linkedin.com/in/magnusnord