Meetings can easily become unproductive when there is no leadership available to steer the discussion to fit the agenda. It is your job as a leader to manage the discussion to make sure your meetings are productive. In this article, we will explore how to lead productive meetings.
Communicate the Agenda
Your meeting agenda should be sent out prior to the meeting if possible. This will give the attendees time to formulate their thoughts around the topics up for discussion during the meeting. Then, during the meeting you will have a clear timetable so that you can work with your team to make quick, effective decisions within the given time frame.
Stay on Target
It is important to lead meetings by not letting people go off on tangents. Keep the conversation related to the topics outlined in the agenda. If anything comes up during conversation that is not a part of the agenda, write it down and prioritize the topic at a later date.
If possible, you should assign one note taker for each meeting. All other employees should not bring their laptops which will greatly limit distractions. Very often, employees are overwhelmed with tasks and they attempt to multi-task and get work done during meetings. You should limit this practice as much as you can so that you have all of your employees’ full attention. Your note taker should format their notes after the meeting and post them so that all employees have access to this valuable information.
Assign Follow-Up Tasks
During your meetings, you should clearly communicate any follow-up tasks that need to be completed by your employees. At the end of the meeting, it is a good practice to have your employees reiterate what their follow-up tasks are to ensure everyone is on the same page.