I have been delivering another Masterclass on the Art of Chairing this week and one of the challenges that is always raised is how to manage a difficult meeting. Whether that be the personalities at the meeting, or keeping to time, staying focused on the core subject or reaching a decision. So, here are some tips for good meeting management. Why? Meetings that are well-managed are more productive, reach better decisions and contribute to team building – all of which improves performance. So regardless of size, type or purpose of the meeting, try these simple tips.
1. Always have an Agenda. Furthermore, if there are a number of participants, talk through items with the key people, you feel, should be aware of what is coming up. This allows you to clarify any misunderstandings and have advance warning of any issues that may derail the meeting itself. Advance knowledge will help you manage the item more successfully.
2. Keep to time. If you are leading the meeting, you have the “licence” to call when a discussion is going on for too long. Yes, you do need to ensure everyone has a fair say, however it is perfectly acceptable to say “Process check, the is taking more debate than we have allocated, how shall we proceed?”. Which leads me to…
3. Don’t go it alone. Even when you have the authority to manage the meeting, you can always ask others around the table for their recommendations. For example, asking “what do others think?” instead of entering into a 1-2-1 debate with someone. Or, “Shall we continue with this item and shorten another item or schedule another discussion on this subject?”.
What works for you when managing a meeting?
You can download my report with further business tips
Future Forum Meetings
Highflyingdivas, 18th September, London – Time Management
The Leadership Forum, 25th September, Chelmsford – How to make the write impression
The Leadership Forum, 16th October, Ipswich – How to keep your customers
If you cannot attend any of these events, then why not join our LinkedIn Group/s to share ideas, learn new insights and network with other business leaders?
Join The leadership Forum
We were reminded of Guy’s return to Boarding School this week, when his telephone alarm rang shrilly at 6.30 a.m. on Wednesday morning – at home. This also told us that he had forgotten his phone, no doubt one of many forgotten “essentials” needed for a young boy returning for a new year at school. He will have to rely on emailing his “vital” needs to us. In the past, his messages have included “Dad, I saw this game on the internet and thought you might like to buy it for you, or me”. One better I suppose than those emails he just forwards on to us with no message at all. We are to presume that the simply action of him forwarding an email enquiring if our son wished to go on a school trip; if we wished to buy a monogrammed rugby team shirt etc, confirmed his desires that he did. Such returns for his written English lessons. Presumably he is now attending Advanced Telepathy as a key subject.