Meeting Management is one of those things we all do.  Whether the meetings are for client development, your team, or any number of other subjects, meeting management is about making the meeting effective. Meeting Management will improve your team's effectiveness in this meeting

For some great meeting tips you could read, 8 ways to have a terrible client meeting. But instead I asked Michael Beale, an expert NLP trainer for his thoughts on meeting management. This article looks at ways to improve your meeting management skills, specifically:

  • How NOT to run a meeting.
  • How to run a meeting.
  • When to use a coach or facilitator.
  • Asking for feed-back and feed-forward to improve future meetings.

How NOT to run a meeting

Bad meetings are so common that it’s worth starting with their key causes.

  • Lack of clear purpose.
  • Lack of leadership / chairmanship.
  • Wrong people at the meeting and / or people with a destructive attitude.
  • Lack of a realistic time plan and time management.
  • Lack of agreement, record and buy in to actions

To improve your meetings, download a free copy of our e-book, “Managing Meetings”, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required).

Steps to improve your meeting management.

1: Preparation

  • Consider, in advance, what you want to achieve from the meeting. This is especially true if there are specific actions you want participants to take. But, also consider how you would like people to feel at the end of the meeting.
  • Who should you invite? What do you want them to contribute? 5-7 participants is often considered an ideal number
  • Meeting length. 1-2 hours is often ideal. If the meeting is any longer, it will need careful planning if you’re not to waste people’s time.
  • Send out an agenda at least 48 hours before the meeting. The agenda details meeting objectives, agenda items and a suggested time frame for each item. It is a good idea to order the agenda items so the meeting ends on a high point.

2: Meeting Management – During the meeting

The chairperson (which doesn’t have to be you) should:

  • initially ‘frame’ the meeting. Do this by setting out the objectives. But also how the participants can get the most out of the meeting. This should also include how he or she will deal with interruptions and move the meeting along if the meeting gets stuck or behind schedule at any time.
  • ensure all the participants are introduced.
  • ensure quieter participants are encouraged to speak, and that alternative views are acknowledged and discussed.
  • summarise agreed actions and ensure ownership is agreed for each action.

3: After the meeting

Minutes (or preferably actions) should be sent within 24 hours of the meeting.

Download a free copy of our e-book, “Managing Meetings”, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required).

When to use a coach or facilitator in a meeting

Meetings are normally an expensive use of management and specialist resource. It is worth considering using a coach or facilitator if:

  • Achieving an agreed way forward is considered critical.
  • Genuine buy in from the participants is considered critical.
  • The items discussed are likely to be highly emotional.
  • The chairperson wants to get involved in the content of the meeting.
  • The meeting is due to last longer than two hours.

Asking for feedback and feed-forward to improve your future meeting management

After the meeting, ask selected delegates (but don’t just select ones you think will say what you want to hear):

  • What they liked about the meeting.
  • What could be done differently to improve them?

Accept ALL ideas gratefully. However it is your choice if and when you implement any suggested change.

If you’d like some more ideas about improving your team meetings, try clicking “7 ideas to improve your team meetings“, or for some thoughts on team meeting agenda, click “ideas for team meeting management”. 

What tips would you share about meeting management?

 Michael Beale is an NLP Trainer and Business Coach. He can contacted through his LinkedIn profile Business Coaching

Photo used under creative commons licence. For more information, click here.