This week’s reading for the Capstone class is How to Run Effective Business Meetings That Produce Results: Tips to Plan, Lead, and Manage a Meeting by Susan M. Heathfield (2019). Most people are familiar with the “this meeting could have been an email meme,” because, all too often, we are stuck in meetings that have its participants zone-out to a PowerPoint or read packets of information that could have been dispersed to participants to peruse at their convenience.
The key to avoiding such time-wasting meetings, however, is to determine whether a meeting is even warranted by planning with the end goals in mind. If a meeting is warranted, then it should ensure appropriate participation. One way to prepare participants is by sending the appropriate information ahead of time so that meeting time isn’t wasted as a “read-in” or a lengthy PowerPoint presentation where one person is talking and others are not participating. Checking in with participants between meetings to ensure they are doing the requisite “pre-work” will help all participants come to the meeting prepared.
If all participants come prepared, the meeting time can be maximized for collaborative work. Attendees will feel more energized and motivated because they will be taking an active role rather than a passive role (as with meetings where information in thrown at them either in packets of documents or via a presentation).
Documentation of meeting minutes is a critical step as it keeps everyone accountable and acts as a single source of truth. If everyone is held accountable for their action items, this will contribute to more effective meetings and higher productivity.