As someone who attends a huge number of meetings, I would like to share some aspects which I believe to be essential for conducting effective meetings. If you have to have a meeting, make sure it works for you.
Meetings are for a variety of issues and have a wide variety of purposes. It could be at church or a neighborhood business meeting. It could be a committee tasked with the responsibility of taking care of finances. Whatever the responsibility of your group, these ideas will help you have an effective meeting that results in the good of your organization.
What are some essentials to holding an effective meeting?
First, have a set and well organized agenda for your committee or business meeting. No meeting should ever be held without a plan for what is to be discussed and what is to be accomplished. By the way, if you would like to know when not to have a meeting, you may read about that here: http://waylonbailey.com/2015/10/13/when-you-should-not-have-a-meeting/
Your agenda will keep the group on track and will make sure you accomplish what needs to be accomplished.
Second, everyone in the meeting should understand the purpose of the meeting and what the whole group should be working to accomplish. The group also should know the rules for the organization. If it’s a church, community, or neighborhood meeting, your group should have by laws that govern how the meeting is to be run.
Third, as you began the meeting, especially if it’s the first time for the group, set expectations for etiquette.
Here are some expectations I find helpful. Let everyone have their say but don’t let anyone dominate the meeting. Expect that everyone will treat everyone else with respect.
Also, ask people not to have sidebar discussion. This is one of the worst offenders for getting the group off purpose. Private, sidebar discussions keeps the whole group from functioning properly. If two or more people are talking during the discussion, they are missing out on valuable information.
Etiquette for meetings is extremely important and should be set in advance. By setting those expectations, the group will be blessed.
Finally, when I lead a meeting, we agree at the beginning that the group will follow the decisions of the group. If that is not going to be the case, meetings have no value.
We all spend a lot of time in meetings. What a blessing it is when they have a purpose, are run efficiently, and lead to the blessing for the group.
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