Rules for successful and effective meetings

Rules for Successful and Effective Meetings

Rules for Successful and Effective Meetings

In the past two weeks I’ve focussed on and told you about different perspectives concerning meetings. The post focussing on the inviter’s point of view you can find here and the post focussing on the invitee’s or attendee’s point of view you can check out here. Today I’m concentrating on what makes  meetings effective and successful for all participants. You’ve surely guessed it already, as the title says it all: rules.

When should you introduce rules?

Let’s assume you have a weekly or monthly team meeting or you work in a closed environment within a company then you need a framework. Now rules are a great strategy to help you work effectively and achieve your goals.

1. Be on time

Time is a very valuable asset. Surely you’ve heard of the expression ‘time is money’, it means you shouldn’t waste time as you could use the time in a different way and earn money. Although this trait is looked at differently  in many cultures, it is a sign of respect. By being on time you convey your respect to all attendees and their time. 

2. Be prepared

‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’ this quote by Benjamin Franklin says it all.  

3. Switch off your devices

You should get rid of distractions from your devices such as your phone, your laptop, your tablet or your wearable. At least mute them or put them on airplane mode. There is hardly anything more annoying, then someone checking his or her messages in a meeting. 

4. Follow the agenda

Meetings can sometimes drift away from the actual points of the agenda. This rule will help everyone attending to stay on point and on time as well. 

5. Listen actively

Only by using the superhero skill of listening actively, will you benefit most from meetings and be able to contribute to making them successful and effective.

6. Be respectful to all participants

Every person is entitled to his or her own opinion or point of view. If you don’t agree with someone’s idea, don’t attack the person. We often tend to forget that critical or diverse views can help us grow immensely and see the bigger picture.

7. Keep an open mind

Please don’t be an assassin and kill an idea by saying no immediately if you disagree. Instead try coming up with a different solution or compromise. 

8. Share your ideas and ask questions

By doing this you can help others come up with new ideas or views and find a solution. Don’t remain silent, dare to speak your thoughts. They might just be what you’ve all been looking for or they will trigger the right thoughts in someone else.

9. Let everyone participate

As the chair you need to make sure everyone participates and has the opportunity to speak, this my involve interrupting others. As a participant you can raise your hand if you’d like to add some information or ask a question. Don’t just interrupt the person speaking.

10. Think before speaking

Don’t use jargon or abbreviations which could be misunderstood. Use words every attendee will understand.

11. Summarise at the end

Say what you’ve decided on and who’s responsible for what. Mention what hasn’t been decided on yet and why, possibly more information is needed, then arrange a follow-up and define who is responsible for getting the needed information.

12. Record the meeting

In virtual meetings you can send out a video to all participants. In ‘old school’ or face-to-face meetings you’ll have someone taking the minutes or making a visual or graphic recording. This needs to be made available to all participants.

Ok and now?

How do you make sure everyone will agree to the rules or even follow them? Do you need a meeting police? Well, no, you don’t. Although, some companies have a fines or penalty jar. That means every time someone does not stick to the rules, he or she has to pay a fine or penalty. This payment is put in the jar. For some companies it works yet again for some it doesn’t. As it depends on the individuals and the company culture.
A successful way of letting your team or meeting members accept and abide by the rules is to 
let everyone come up with what they consider most important for an effective meeting. This isn’t only a good team building activity. It binds the people to the rules because they will identify themselves with them.
However, please consider as soon as you leave your environment and work with clients, suppliers, or external consultants, do not force these rules onto others. If you use these rules for yourself, you will ensure that you’re doing your best to have a successful and effective meeting.

So, there you have it!

From my experience the above mentioned rules are what you need to lead, participate in or have successful and effective meetings. Is there something you’d like to add, which did not make my list?Then please let me know and drop me a line or just schedule a call with me  click here to schedule a call and tell me about it. Are you interested in other business English skills? Then check out the post about listening here and about using your voice effectively here

One more thing

We’d like to thank you for tuning in and downloading our podcast. We’d love to hear more from you. Most importantly you can help us by rating us on iTunes and if you like leave a review. By doing that you’ll help us get a bigger reach. We know that rating us takes up your time and that’s why we’ve decided to raffle three books among all of you who rate us on iTunes.

All you have to do to take part is to rate us and leave a comment. Make a screenshot of your rating and comment and send it to us either by email or as a DM on Instagram.

These are the books you can win: Atomic Habits by James Clear, Denglish for Better Knowers by Adam Fletcher and Paul Hawkins and Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker. We’ve been told to prolong the raffle. You can participate till April 12. 2019. We will make the draw on 3 May 2019. Good luck!

Take care


PS Yvette and I have a podcast called “Your English Podcast”.  You can find it on iTunes and on Spotify sign up for it, so you don’t miss the next episode.

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