Make Meetings Worth Their Time

Courtesy of DiscoverDuPage/Creative Commons License

As the kickoff to our year inches closer I’m finding meetings are taking up the majority of my time.  I have meetings to check-in with team leaders, to train new ministers and others informing parents on what they need to know.  There are days when it seems like the only break I get from a meeting is by going to the bathroom (If I’m lucky).

Meetings are a part of the job.  Some enjoy them while others stress out about sitting through more than one.  A lot can depend on whether or not you like to lead a meeting; however, even that can lead to stress.  If you are leading a meeting your number one goal should be to have your participants engaged; otherwise, what’s the point?

Therefore, if you want to run a meeting worth the time of others, it’s important that you:

  • Prepare Them Early – Sending out an agenda, letting them know what to bring or even giving them questions to ponder can create some interest leading into a meeting.  No one likes to be surprised or taken off guard, giving them an idea of what to expect can build the anticipation.
  • Set An Agenda – Not only should people know what you are talking about, but, they should have an idea what attention it is receiving.  By designating time to certain subjects people can create fair expectations as well as help you with the flow of conversation.  And, no matter what make sure your meetings start on time and end on the time indicated in the agenda.
  • Create An Irresistible Environment – Prepare the room in which you meet.  Clean it, set the right temperature and make sure the lighting engages people instead of puts them to sleep.  If people aren’t comfortable they aren’t engaged.  This will lead to distractions, which will only make your meeting frustrated.
  • Create Actions Steps – Action steps are designed to help participants feel involved.  They also bring life to the topics discussed during a meeting.  Too many times people will work on a project or subject only to leave without a plan.  All this does is create confusion, which in the end could kill the momentum of what was discussed.  Make sure people leave knowing what is next.

While you might not be able to make your meetings more fun, you can definitely fill them with purpose.  Creating agendas and putting action plans together might seem like more work; however, the fruit you will bare will be worth it.

What is your biggest meeting pet peeve?