Written by Michael Crom 12:00 AM, Jun. 20, 2011|
Question: For the first time in my career, I have been promoted into a managerial role. Setting up and running a meeting is something that I have not done before. But this is now something that will be a much larger part of my job. How can I set up a meeting that will be successful for everyone involved?
Answer: Although you haven’t set up meetings in the past, you have been involved in them, so you know more about setting up meetings than you think:
- Start with an agenda. You will have better control of what you are doing if you take the time to organize yourself. Ask your manager as well as the other managers attending what they would like to see on this agenda. If you have any questions to discuss in the meeting, write them down and make sure they are answered.
- Include everyone. Try to have everyone participate in the discussion, so that no one feels left out. If someone is not getting involved, ask him or her to add new ideas or summarize what is being discussed. This way, that person feels like he or she is contributing.
- Keep the meeting on track. Your main goal is to keep the meeting focused on the issues in your agenda. If someone asks a question not related to what is being discussed, acknowledge the question and state that it will be answered at the end. If you run out of time but consider it important, tell the person you will address that issue in the next meeting the following month.
- Include everyone when brainstorming. This is a time for everyone to contribute ideas; therefore, noidea should be judged. Often you may hear ideas that might not make sense. But remember, even a wild idea can have a solution.
- Use interim summaries. Cover each topic thoroughly before moving on. After you have covered everything on the agenda, sum up the meeting as well as what any assignments might be.
- Create a meeting recap. When the meeting concludes, summarize it from beginning to end. Email everyone who attended as well as those who should have been there, such as your manager. Make sure everyone gets a summary shortly after the meeting and encourage them to give their thoughts or send in any questions.
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*Michael Crom is executive vice president of Dale Carnegie Training.