As leaders, much of our communication isn’t one-on-one. It’s in groups. Often, it’s in a meeting. When we’re leading meetings, how can we make the best use of our time and our team members’ time?
When I was searching for tips, I came across a list from CBS News of Nine Hardcore Steps to Leading Incredibly Effective Meetings. Some of the steps seemed useful. Others made me think “that would never work in higher ed.” I’m sharing it with you because it can be good to challenge set ideas. See what you think:
- Never set a regular schedule. The Monday morning meeting can become boring and predictable. Alternate days of the week, times of day, and schedules to maintain team members’ interest.
- The agenda should only list action items. A meeting should be used to decide something or do something.
- Never use meetings to share information. Share the information in advance so people can make decisions. Sharing it during the meeting is a waste of people’s time.
- A meeting should never be primarily about “team cohesion.” Spending time together doesn’t automatically generate good working relationships.
- Allow digression. Assuming they are related to the subject, tangents can produce surprisingly useful results.
- Clearly identify decisions, take-aways, and action steps.
- Create accountability.
- Publish a meeting recap, but only include action items.
- Conduct initial follow up individually. Don’t have a meeting just to share progress updates that could be shared electronically.
Maybe you had the same reaction I did to some of the items. I liked #5, because I love a good tangent. On the other hand, I do a lot of team building activities so #4 struck a sore spot. That one made me consider how the team building activities are supporting the team’s goals.
Which tips stood out for you? Why?
Dee Anne Bonebright