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Successful Meetings: Best Practices

We know you want to be successful. We know you want to get results. Some people see meetings as a ‘necessary evil,’ but we think meetings are a powerful, and often misunderstood, leadership tool that help you influence and motivate your team, share your vision, and get results. We gathered these best practices as a ‘cheat sheet’ with quick tips you can apply today.

BEFORE the meeting... • DO invite all the right people to your meeting, tell them why you want them to attend, and what to prepare for the meeting (data, status update, findings, etc) • DO encourage the leadership abilities in others by assigning portions or topics of the meeting. Give specific guidelines up front and state your expectations like, “Rashid, I’d like to give you five minutes at the beginning of our Monday meeting to give a status update about the software implementation and another five to answer our questions.” • DO send a detailed meeting invitation with date/time/location/call-in info. Include time zone, if applicable. • DO include an agenda in the meeting invitation. • DON’T meet in person when it’s not necessary. Utilize technology to collaborate and share information at times when your team doesn’t need to meet in person.

DURING the meeting... • DO assign roles during your meeting (Notetaker, Scope Keeper, Time Keeper, etc). Rotate roles if this team meets regularly. • DO use your agenda during the meeting. • DO support the various strengths/priorities of everyone on your team by...clearly stating the desired results for the meeting (for people who are bottom-line oriented), encouraging dialogue and brainstorming (for people who are creative and verbal), sticking to your agenda (for people who like to have a plan), and adhering to a logical order for agenda items (for people who want to maintain quality). • DON’T just talk during meetings. Use visual support for your agenda items - flipchart, PowerPoint slides, handouts, etc. • DON’T try to accomplish too much in one meeting. • DON’T do all the talking in a meeting, seek active participation/ contribution from others.

AFTER the meeting... • DO send the meeting summary to everyone who attended and those who were invited but could not attend (‘cc’ senior executives or other department heads who need to see the results of the meeting).

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Successful Meetings Checklist