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Why Meetings Need Planning

Last updated March 30, 2021

Do you plan your meetings?

Perhaps you just turn up and hope they have a good outcome? When I worked in corporate life, I was amazed how many meetings I had to attend that didn’t have a good outcome. Half the time I didn’t even need to be there.

Wasted time always follows poor planning. A one hour meeting with 14 attendees is the equivalent to 2 days lost production so, if they are organising or attending a meeting make sure its valuable to the business.

You know what I’m going to say… do the planning!

Meeting planning is just as important as sales planning or business planning. Zero planning means wasted time, effort, money and added frustration!  Don’t forget, if you are an attendee do your planning before turning up.

My top tips for planning effective & efficient meetings:

  • Have a clear purpose /goal / objective to the meeting. What are you deciding?
  • Is a meeting really necessary? Can a decision be made another way?
  • Who absolutely must attend because their contribution is crucial? Don’t invite ‘nice to attends’.
  • Start on time and finish early.
  • Set a short time limit 15 or 30 minutes.
  • Circulate pre-reading in plenty of time. Then everyone knows what to expect. Have an agenda – state the outcome of the meeting. That helps them get ‘in the zone’ before they walk into the room or join a Zoom call.
  • Assign a note taker and timekeeper. Sometimes a neutral chair will keep you on track so you can focus on running the meeting.
  • If you are on Zoom (or similar) insist on camera on and sound mute. Make use of hand raise.
  • Be mindful of introverts who might need to be encouraged to share, make it easy for them to participate. Carefully silence the loud ones who love the sound of their own voice.
  • Make the decision, assign actions and follow up.
  • Communicate to non-attendees who may be impacted.

I guarantee that if you pre plan your internal meeting you’ll save hours and hours of time.

Don't forget to give external meetings the same degree of planning. Do you need to be there and what value can you add or take away?

shirley-mansfield-CoachSME
Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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