New Tips for Fast Meetings - Page 2
Stay on Track
Assign a note-taker. If it’s a small group (five or less) consider taking notes yourself. Notes should cover the following four areas:
1. Who was present
2. The substance of all relevant comments
3. The specific decisions and how they were reached
4. Follow-up actions: Who is responsible for accomplishing them and when they need to be accomplished
Expect that everything will run smoothly, but be prepared to handle logjams. One minute is plenty of time for a constructive comment, but not enough time for a rambling anecdote or a string of disconnected observations. If you don’t give people time to argue or get off track, they won’t.
For project meetings, consider requiring the following one-minute comment format:
1. What did the person complete since the last meeting?
2. What is the person working on now?
3. Where does the person need help?
Accomplish What You Need
At the end of the meeting, read the highlights of the notes. If there is follow-up action, be sure that participants know what they need to do and when it needs to be done. Then reiterate tasks and deadlines in an email.
If you have a clear purpose for another meeting and need to schedule one, this is the time to do it. If it looks like the meeting is going to run long, wrap it up anyway. Then assess what still needs to be done before scheduling another meeting. You may find that you can accomplish it another way
At the very end of the meeting, have the courage to ask participants:
• What worked well in this meeting?
• What can I do better next time?
Lack of planning and unproductive discussion will turn what should be a 30-minute meeting into a 90-minute meeting. As the facilitator, the 60-minute difference is you.