In considering all the different suggestions for how to have effective meetings, it’s important to focus on the desired outcome. Any meeting you conduct should first have clearly stated, meaningful objectives and a matching agenda to meet those objectives. Don’t meet because it just feels like you need a meeting.
The most effective meetings are those that compile the collective creativity and intelligence of your team to solve problems. Great meetings conclude with great solutions.
To have effective meetings that conclude well, I offer two pieces of advice:
A word to meeting participants – Don’t cave under pressure!
Don’t settle for anything less than the best answer, knowing that the best answer is almost certainly a composite of many ideas in the room. Get your idea on the table and don’t over-sell it. Your team may keep all, none or part of your thoughts as you all work towards the best result. If it gets emotional in the meeting, press through the feelings to find a path you can all commit to.
A word to meeting moderators and company integrators – Don’t fire anyone for being open and honest! You want to foster an environment where people on your team feel very free to get their ideas out. Don’t let the type A’s dominate the meeting. Draw in the quiet ones by asking what they think and make sure they aren’t just echoing their stronger teammates. Press towards that clear moment when everyone in the meeting can say, “That’s the right answer.”
That’s how to have effective meetings.