As a business leader, what is one tip/trick for running a successful meeting?
To help you adopt the best approach in running meetings successfully, we asked CEOs and business leaders this question for their best insights. From allowing your team to contribute in advance to using friendly communication during meetings, there are several tips that are useful for any business leader seeking to conduct successful meetings.
Here are 10 tips these leaders follow to run successful meetings:
- Allow Your Team to Contribute in Advance
- Pep Things Up With a Brainstorming Session
- Create and Share a Clear Agenda for the Meeting
- Pay Attention to Who You Ask to Attend
- Engage Everyone
- Kick-Off With Dialogue that Supports Team Trust
- Leave Smartphones at the Door
- Send Out a Meeting Announcement Early
- Leave Room in Your Schedule for Questions
- Use Friendly Communication During the Meeting
Allow Your Team to Contribute in Advance
To have a successful, collaborative meeting, offer your entire team the opportunity to suggest topics or ask questions beforehand. This can be done simply on a project-management task or even on a Google sheet. Start by stating the main purpose of the meeting, and then encourage your employees to add sub-topics and put forth any questions or comments they may have. This will keep everyone engaged by feeling they’ve actually contributed to the meeting, rather than just be an “attendee.”
Shaun Price, MitoQ
Pep Things Up With a Brainstorming Session
A successful meeting requires every participant to contribute to the outcome, and one way to get the adrenaline flowing is to have a brainstorming session where everyone in the meeting can share their viewpoints. In addition to adding to the energy in the room, this move will also give team members the chance to present their ideas without feeling conscious about how they’ll play out in the long run. After all, brainstorming is all about coming up with ideas, no matter how vague, so that every thought and notion can be explored.
Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
Create and Share a Clear Agenda for the Meeting
Prepare and send out a clear agenda before the meeting starts. This will help the meeting stay on track and ensure that all of the topics that need to be discussed are covered. It is also helpful to provide a brief overview of each topic before the meeting starts so everyone is on the same page. Having discipline around creating an agenda for each meeting may sound like a lot of work, but that’s actually a very good thing, since it leads to fewer, but much higher quality meetings. One thing that employees commonly complain a lot about is too many unnecessary meetings and too much time wasted. So by having a laser focus on the topics that are truly relevant for the meeting, you’ll be able to get to the core of the matter much faster, and everyone will appreciate that.
Matthew Ramirez, Paraphrase Tool
Pay Attention to Who You Ask to Attend
Many business leaders spend a lot of time on setting up their meeting agenda, but give little thought to who should be in attendance, yet by making it exclusive you will have a greater likelihood of it being successful. The people in attendance can have a dramatic impact on a meeting in everything from its focus to meaningful engagement, and making it a catch-all in terms of who is requested to be there can water down the presentation’s effectiveness. Making sure those who are asked to attend have relevant knowledge, have responsibilities related to the topic, will be involved in agenda implementation, and can contribute points that add to the presentation, is as critical to the meeting’s effectiveness as any material or discussion points. By spending as much time evaluating who you want to be at the meeting as you do setting up your presentation, you will better ensure the engagement of those in attendance and its overall success.
Adelle Archer, Eterneva
Find a way to engage everybody at the meeting. No one wants to spend time at a meeting just to keep a chair warm, and if they sit there the whole time without saying a word, you haven’t done your job in leading the meeting. Everyone should have something to offer, or they shouldn’t be there. Make sure to touch base with each participant and see what they have to contribute. They’ll feel engaged and appreciated, and you won’t be leaving any valuable input on the table.
Marcus Hutsen, Patriot Coolers
Kick-Off With Dialogue that Supports Team Trust
Kick it off with an opportunity for people to share what is going well and areas they wish to take the initiative to improve to support team trust. This is the most critical element for teams to achieve their goals, so it’s important to cultivate trust in each interaction and meeting. Behaviors that erode trust include micromanaging, failure to share information, gossip, comparison of colleagues, and toxic productivity. Instead, allow your team to thrive by embodying a culture of learning, growth, and collaboration so people feel it’s okay to fail, share progress with others, and cheer on teammates’ success. When trust-building is a priority in meetings, all stakeholders can raise issues and ideas without fear of retaliation.
Tommy Chang, Homelister
Leave Smartphones at the Door
Require everyone to leave their smartphones at the door. Smartphones are supposed to be a convenient productivity tool, but I’ve noticed that they ultimately get in the way of collaboration and creativity more than they help it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referred to my phone to aid in work, but then became sidetracked by a text or voice message, or a juicy piece of news. Meetings should only last about 30 minutes anyway: People should be able to live without their phones for that long.
Asker Ahmed, iProcess
Send Out a Meeting Announcement Early
Give early notice. One important but often overlooked key to running a successful meeting takes place before it even begins. If you want to be a good host, you need to announce the meeting with plenty of advanced notice. Sending out a timely announcement and reminders about your agenda helps ensure that your attendees can be there and sets a good tone for the rest of your meeting.
Rachel Reid, Subtl Beauty
Leave Room in Your Schedule for Questions
Don’t forget to leave time for clarifications. When you’re outlining a meeting agenda, there’s internal pressure to ensure you have enough material and that you’re not leaving out anything relevant. But it’s also important to build time into that schedule for questions. Most meetings are not so clear that no one needs clarification in any area. If you fill your agenda to the brim, you risk running over and delaying people getting to their next commitment. It’s better in the long run to have that gap built in.
Vimla Black Gupta, Ourself
Use Friendly Communication During the Meeting
Meetings are typically serious affairs, especially if objectives and agendas are closely followed. To maintain a good environment and promote a sense of collaboration and relationship building, allot a few minutes at the start and end of each meeting for some small talk, questions, and other chit-chats. A serious topic can be made more entertaining and interactive by using humor. Always be kind in your communication, encourage laughter or pleasant contact, and remember that meetings are still social gatherings. Keep meetings on schedule, but provide time for personal interaction.
Shad Elia, New England Home Buyers