Skills Spotlight – Chairing A Meeting
People always remember Meetings but they only remember the bad ones – a little like going to a Wedding that was a disaster. Such traumas always stay in the mind so it is essential to make sure that YOUR Meeting works well.
Consider the following pointers to ensure that you have the best possible outcomes from the Meeting you are shortly to Chair.
- Always be clear to all attendees what the purpose of the Meeting is.
- Always be clear what you want to get from the Meeting in terms of outcomes.
- Pay great attention to the seating arrangements; make sure that nobody is tucked away in the corner of the room and away from the action.
- Circulate an Agenda and Minutes from the previous Meeting(s) if there are any at least 5 working days before the Meeting.
- Plan your strategy for the Meeting before the Minutes are circulated.
- Spend time considering what the different viewpoints of those attending the Meeting will be – who will be confrontational, who will have nothing to say and the also-rans.
- Make sure there is a Minute Taker – NEVER be tempted to Chair and take Minutes yourself as how can you keep an accurate record while managing the interactions of those attending?
- Set a rigid start time – if people are not there on time start without them and be clear that late arrival will not be tolerated.
- Set a rigid end time – any meeting that goes on for over an hour is doomed to failure unless those attending are supremely motivated and committed.
- Get the Minutes and a list of actions allocated to attendees and a deadline for each action within 5 working days of the Meeting. That was nobody can claim they did not know they had a job to do.
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