11 Tips for Running Effective Meetings

Part of being an effective leader is managing meetings well to ensure your team’s time is used wisely and that meetings create a positive effect on the bottom line.

Also, running efficient and impactful meetings can shine a light on you, so that you are considered for promotions, which is a great way to build your Career Path.

For me, running productive Process Improvement Meetings, gave me a strong Personal Brand within an aerospace company (that I worked for long ago) which led to me being offered multiple management roles.

Also, part of having a strong Executive Presence is running effective meetings. (For tips on how to run Executive Leaders Team (ELT) meetings, take a look at this blog post.  Leading productive ELT Meetings has its own intricacies).

Establish Meeting Roles

At the bare minimum, ensure you assign these two meeting management roles:

  • Meeting Leader
  • Timekeeper (to keep the team on track)

Use Meeting Documentation

  • Develop and utilize Meeting Agendas
    • Create Agenda items that have tangible outcomes: a plan, an updated plan, a specific decision, a flowchart, a diagram, a report, or procedure
    • Assign time periods to Agenda items
    • Check off Agenda items as completed
    • Use a “Parking Lot” for items that arise that are out the scope of the meeting
    • Suggest participants take discussions off-line that are not pertinent to all participants (“Take it Offline”)
  • Utilize Minutes to document team decisions
    • Use Action Item Forms to document actions, assign owners, create schedules, and hold participants accountable
  • Write team ideas on whiteboards or easel sheets so all can see them

Manage Interpersonal Meeting Behaviors

  • Use strategies to manage disruptive team member behaviors
    • Invite all participants to facilitate member behaviors
  • Understand and apply the characteristics of a good meeting

Use Meeting Management Tools to Create an Effective Meeting Structure

  • Establish Ground Rules
    • Review Ground Rules periodically and ask for feedback on performance to the standards outlined
  • Give feedback on meeting mechanics for meeting improvement: Plus / Delta Tool
  • Appropriately utilize Brainstorming techniques
    • Brainstorm, then later, evaluate ideas
  • Utilize team decision-making techniques
    • Consensus
    • Decision-making matrices
    • Voting
    • Team Leader decision-making (when appropriate, e.g., when a quick decision is needed, when consensus can’t be reached, when there are constraints that need to be adhered to despite opposition)

Be the Leader you’ve always wanted to be!