Raise your hand if you’ve been in a meeting that could definitely have been an email.
I see you. We’ve all been there, right?
There is nothing worse than having time carved out of your calendar to only sit in on a meeting, virtual or not, and either remain silent because no agenda was made or have the discussion go so off-topic you feel like nothing was accomplished!
Meetings are essential – if done well. And it’s not meetings you hate, it’s bad meetings. As a manager and team leader, it is crucial to learn the art of running a motivating and responsible conversation because meetings are expensive! However, having no meetings at all or even ones that are unnecessary is a far greater cost.
There are a few key strategies to assess if you had a great meeting or one that just… happened.
4 Tips to Run A Great Meeting
1 Allow collaboration
Let’s begin a few days before a meeting will take place. Approaching a meeting agenda collaboratively will inspire everyone to contribute. Using Fellow will allow you to have all team members add their topics of discussion and ideas by applying a ready-to-use template that best suits your team’s needs. Setting goals for your meeting will help you stay focused and on track. Sharing meeting notes easily with all attendees is crucial to remain on the same page and promotes transparency.
Sending out the agenda prior to the meeting allows your team to brainstorm and contribute well-thought-out ideas.
2 Be the meeting owner
As a meeting organizer, you should own the meeting. This means being responsible for staying on topic, on time and on track! To set the tone of the meeting, start by sharing the goal of gathering and what you’d like the outcome to be. Don’t be afraid to set clear boundaries for the topic either. For example, if you don’t need concept designs today, make that clear so your team knows.
An easy and effective way to do this with Fellow is simply putting the talking points under the respective area in your meeting template! As the meeting progresses, fill out the template with decisions being made, action items and due dates. You are the one source of truth that your attendees can rely on! We all have tasks to accomplish in a workday, so it is important to focus on the right things.
Fellow makes it easy to organize these tasks so you and your team can feel in control of their workday rather than losing every list of tasks in a notebook or a Google Doc.
3 Raise their voices
Don’t be the only one speaking. I know you’re thinking, “But everyone loves the sound of my voice!” And while that may be true, bringing all voices into the conversation is a beautiful sound too. The results you’ll receive when the whole team contributes is one of perfect melody. Can we agree that there is nothing better than team meetings being synchronized with company goals?
Having everyone agree to discussions and ideas may not be the best outcome! Healthy debate and respectful disagreement should be encouraged! You know it’s a good meeting when no one holds back. While you can’t speak for everyone in the meeting, you can create a comfortable environment. Being a great facilitator is a key ingredient to successful meetings.
4 Before you go
Much like a party, all good things must come to an end. If you can see that attention spans are dwindling down and there is nothing left to add, it is best to end the meeting as to not overstay your welcome. Your colleagues will appreciate the few minutes they may have gotten back into their workday and begin to tackle those action items that were assigned. It is OK if a meeting finishes early. However, if a meeting runs late, you may need to revisit your ownership tactics and review what could have gone better. Pivoting your approach should happen on a regular basis to learn what works best for you and your company!
Sending a meeting recap is a great way to summarize what was covered within that meeting and is beneficial for the employees who weren’t able to attend.
Learning to run a great meeting is a skill not only for managers but a skill that is beneficial for all! The advantage of being a leader is setting an example for your team and instilling the courage needed for them to run a meeting of their own when necessary.
Let’s not forget that feedback is a gift. Giving and receiving feedback can all be done with Fellow in a way that is administratively easy and fun! Don’t believe us? Check out our webinar with step-by-step guides on how exactly to achieve this:
We hope you refer back to this guide when planning your next meeting!
For more resources on how to level-up meeting habits, check out The Fellow Blog. If you want to hear from great leaders from all walks of life on the art of management, we highly recommend our Supermanagers Podcast. Until next time!