How To Conduct Effective Meetings: Have An Agenda

Meetings are crucial to companies, sometimes a company will have daily, weekly or monthly meetings to discuss previous happenings and how they are to move. However, not every company gets the most out of its discussions. Conducting effective meetings is imperative in determining goals and showing vision for the time between that meeting and the next.

Generally, there are five reasons why people have meetings, and these are:
– Give information
– Get information
– Develop a vision
– Make a decision
– Improve communication

These may sound like an obvious five things to think about, but ensure that you tick each box at the end of a meeting because, if you don’t, you’ll have missed something. Guaranteed.

The Importance Of A Meeting Agenda

Before setting up a meeting you will always ask yourself: is this meeting necessary? Now, when you’ve decided it is, you have to make sure that you don’t waste this opportunity by missing a crucial part or running out of time because you haven’t planned properly. As United Kingdom’s great wartime leader Winston Churchill once mused: “Failing to plan is planning to fail” and that’s poignant across all walks of life.

Making sure that all the right people are there and that the reason they are there is clear is one thing, but setting the parameters of discussion is of paramount importance. By developing an agenda, much like creating an article, allows for some structure for the discussion. Set objectives and stick to them.

Although, it is also important to make sure that the agenda means something, it’s all well and good having a set list but if it’s not specific or relevant to current work then it may prove to be a useless meeting. Have somebody to run the meeting, moving it along at the appropriate times and not spending too much time going over the same thing for half the meeting.

This sounds perfect on paper but what about if you can’t get to the bottom of one of the bullets on your agenda? Well, be professional, figure out how you can find the answer outside of the meeting and move on.

A bullet list for having an agenda handy would be:
– Is it being targeted at the right people?
– Is it specific enough for what the needs of the meeting are?
– Do you have exact objectives of what you want from the meeting?
– Is it a shopping list or is it going to lead to interesting and informative debate/recommendations?
– Do you have someone whose job it is to run the meeting?
– Allow allocated times to each topic.
– Don’t be scared to leave an item if you cannot resolve it.
– Make the next meeting better.

It’s a roadmap basically of how the meeting is going to get from A to B, where it’s going to stop en-route and what the final destination should look like. Having an agenda for a meeting gives structure, direction and purpose.