Last time, with the referendum being imminent, we looked at some tools and tips for using in a debate. However, whilst workplace debates don’t come around too often for most of us, what will crop up more regularly are the usual suspects – the staff meeting, the team briefing, the monthly sales gathering. These can often descend into arguments, be crushingly tedious or simply not produce the results you wanted. So here are some Stratus tips from our leadership trainer, Colin Dunk, to make your meetings more meaningful:
Always prepare an effective agenda; one that has a clear objective spelling out the outcome of each item and with an indication of the time allocated for it.
Ensure that the agenda is sent out to all participants before the meeting to allow them to prepare
Start the meeting at the stated time to both reward those who are on time and encourage latecomers to be punctual.
Avoid going directly into the first item; allow participants to ‘transit’ into the room and make sure everyone knows who is in what role and what that entails.
To start the meeting, spend a little time ensuring all are clear about the purpose of the meeting and the objectives embedded in the agenda.
As a chair, start in a confident, authoritative manner but then concentrate on achieving the agenda objectives in the stated time whilst ensuring that contributions of participants are balanced.
At the end of each agenda item, summarise and confirm decisions and actions so that all are clear, then spend a little time to ensure that the minute taker records the outcome accurately.
As a participant, think before you speak. Make your point clearly and concisely, resist repeating yourself or re-emphasising comments.
Listen to other’s views and contributions and be prepared to concede if they have merit.
At the end of the meeting, be disciplined, do not go back over items already dealt with and do not bring up things that are not on the agenda.
Action Point: If you want to stop wasting time in unfocussed discussion and instead run more efficient, effective and productive meetings, contact us for additional information or to arrange a chat with one of the Stratus team