Meetings are inevitable. How you lead meetings is up to you. Following the tips provided in this article will help you confidently lead productive meetings, meetings in which participants leave saying, “Wow! We actually accomplished a lot in that meeting!”

  1. Before you plan to call a meeting, ask yourself this important question, “Do we need to meet, or is there a more efficient way to accomplish our goal?”
  2. If a meeting is worth calling, an agenda is a must. The agenda signifies the importance of the meeting and lends structure and organization throughout the meeting.
  3. Send the agenda to participants prior to the meeting, allowing them enough time to focus their thoughts and do any advance preparation prior to the meeting.
  4. Arrange the facility according to the type of meeting. If discussion is required, plan to have participants face one another.
  5. Begin and end meetings on time. Doing so conveys you value the participants’ time and intend to use it efficiently.
  6. In your opening statements, clearly state the desired outcome for the meeting.
  7. Encourage participation. If you sense that there may be disagreement, even if nothing is said, have the confidence to call directly on individuals. For example, “Susan, I am feeling that you have some thoughts about this issue. Would you share them with us?”
  8. Keep the discussion focused. If needed, remind participants about the goal for the meeting and redirect comments that do not relate to the current discussion.
  9. Make every effort to come to agreement by consensus, not voting. Periodically check in with participants to see if they can support decisions under consideration.
  10. Summarize progress and review responsibilities at the end of the meeting. Don’t end until participants are sure about the next steps and their individual responsibilities.

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