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How to organize an effective meeting?

During the meeting, everyone can initiate their own idea, discuss an exciting issue, make a plan of action for the day or the entire working week, plan an event or a meeting with business partners. Not to turn the meeting process into beating around the bush, but to conduct an effective meeting at which important decisions would be made, the manager must know all the subtleties of meeting organizing.


1. The meeting type selection  

2. 10 steps for an effective meeting

3. Typical mistakes in meeting organization

4. Constructive meeting layout

The meeting type selection

Effective meetings are pre-planned meetings that have a clear structure and follow well-defined parameters. There are several types of meetings that have their own characteristics. Among them:

1. Staff meeting (status meeting) – the structure of this type of meeting consists of a warm-up or introductory speech, the main part, including the rules, format and goals, general questions, results of work, reports of participants and analysis of results.

2. Report - consists of presentations by several participants. One presentation lasts no more than 7 minutes, considering this is the length of time that can hold the audience's attention.

3. Exchange of views – the alternate saying of all the meeting participants.

4. Briefing – consists of an introduction, which includes plans, indicating the importance of the topic and defining the problem, the main part is the plans, rules and instructions, then there is a discussion with subsequent analysis, and at the end — setting tasks and summing up.

5. Discussion – the meeting is organized once again after the main meeting has already been held, but the decision has not been made.

Besides the main types, there are also such meeting formats as planning and brainstorming. In the first case, a narrow circle of employees is invited to a meeting to solve a problem that they are directly related to. The second type of meeting is designed to find unusual ideas and fresh solutions. As many people as possible are invited to such meeting.

To properly manage the time allocated for a meeting, invest in this time period and not delay the solution of the main task, you can use special applications, such as a simple time tracker Checkiant. You can also use it to track the employees' working hours and earned money, thereby increasing the productivity and quality of work of each of them.

10 steps for an effective meeting

To conduct meetings effectively you need to identify three main components of a successful team meeting: an open dialogue, a clear goal and a strong leader. Now let's go through the 10 key steps of organizing an effective meeting:

1. Clearly define the purpose of the meeting. If it doesn't make sense, then you shouldn't strain yourself and distract employees from their work. Today, you can easily provide information to each team member via email. The need for a meeting can only be justified when it's necessary to get an immediate response from subordinates. In this case, the meeting should be!

2. Properly prepare. You can think through not only the main points of the plan, but also practice some phrases, perhaps write an introductory or final speech.

3. Notify each team member about the meeting timely. If you inspire the team with at least one convincing and well-founded thesis, motivate them to the event – it will increase the effectiveness of the meeting. Everyone will understand why they met and what they need to achieve in the end. So you need to think carefully about your goals in advance, and then notify your employees about the meeting.

4. Manage the process. A good meeting can only take place under good leadership. It's necessary to make it clear to the audience that you are also acting as an observer here and will make sure that the meeting corresponds to the topic, fits into the time frame and that no one deviates from the set issues. It is equally important to show that you respect the time of every present person. To do this, let them watch the clock or set a timer. Every time the main topic is replaced by secondary conversations, get everyone back to the main theme.

5. Let everyone think freely. But don't let other participants make fun of the speaker. Watch the discipline.

6. It is important for present persons to take part in the discussion and to make their own suggestion, ideas or personal opinions about the topic. It is necessary to listen to everyone and only then, after analyzing everything heard, make a final decision.

7. Make a plan of action at the end of the meeting. You should check with employees whether they understand the final decision of the meeting, what needs to be done next, and what result to achieve. If something goes wrong, you need to analyze all the errors and take them into account next time.

8. Keep an eye on time. It's important both to start the meeting on time and to finish it timely. Punctuality plays an important role in achieving success.

9. Work with your subordinates after the meeting is over. You can ask each participant to write a report on the results of the event. This is a useful life hack how to hold an effective meeting, eliminating all the shortcomings that happened last time.

10. Monitor compliance of approved decisions. At the end of the meeting, make sure that employees follow the adopted plan and strategy, and do not forget about everything five minutes after the meeting ends.

Keep these rules in mind to increase efficiency, speed, and quality of tasks completion, bring the team together, and improve the workplace atmosphere.

Typical mistakes in meeting organization

Each subsequent analysis of the past meeting will allow you to eliminate mistakes and conduct effective, productive meetings, the results of which will suit both employees and the authority. It's very difficult to do everything right from the first attempts, when a lot of people come to the meeting, and you don't have enough time. But everything comes with experience.

One of the necessary condition for conducting an effective meeting is to avoid mistakes. The main thing is that they don't have to become a habit, and you can quickly analyze them and think of solutions to eliminate them.

So, we have considered the main principles of an effective meeting, which make up a ladder of task compliance, concreteness, short-termism, timing, participation, voting rights, consolidation of results and planning. Errors can occur at any of these stages. Let's analyze the most common of them:

  • you have not defined the goal — after the event, the participants will only have a sense of wasted time. Usually, if employees do not receive notifications specifying the topic and goals of the meeting, they either don't come at all, or they only come because they are afraid of being punished;
  • you have not prepared for the meeting — if you don't know what to say to the participants, then how can you expect them to take any actions, activity, or reaction at all. In this case, the meeting will be held under the motto "clarification of misunderstandings and search for a topic", and everyone will leave it with a complete lack of understanding of what happened and without a single plan for the future;
  • you haven't set a time limit — if you set a specific time of the meeting, then the participants will try to find a solution within these limits. Otherwise, a half-hour briefing can turn into a three-hour empty rhetoric;

  • you didn't motivate the meeting participants properly, as well as yourself – if you don't know how to use such a tool as "meeting" and don't consider it as something important in the company's activities, then there is nothing to be surprised when the meetings will become lust a formal and inefficient activity;

  • meeting misused — you can not call the "people" on any occasion. Why distract people from their tasks to analyze issues that can be resolved, for example, via email or at the end of the working day just five minutes before leaving the office;

  • the purpose of the meeting you set and the methods for its solving are not compatible with each other — if it was decided to deal with the problem as a whole team, you shouldn't take all the time for a personal monologue and express only your own opinion. It's important to give everyone the floor, and at the vote for one option.
    Analyzing all the above-mentioned rules for conducting effective meetings, it is worth noting that deficiencies analysis is one of the key points in successful achieving of goals.

Constructive meeting layout

The secret for organizing and conducting an effective meeting is to create the right plan and, also important, follow each stage of it.

1. At the preparatory stage, the leader must provide participants with information about the upcoming event with issues to be solved or questions to be answered. At this stage, he must also create the right motivation and bring all present to the fact that the constructive interaction is expected, and everyone has the right to their own point of view and, accordingly, will be able to speak out.

2. At the stage called "start of the meeting", it's important for the organizer to clearly state the purpose and topic. To set the tone for the event, you need to hold a welcome part, seat and greet the participants.

3. The most important moment — the main part of the meeting. At this stage, the leader needs to voice the problem, approve ways for its solution, create optimal conditions for the group to offer a number of successful proposals, and ensure the process of adopting a single final version.

4. At the final part, the organizer must distribute the results of the meeting to each of the participants. This can also be done 1-2 hours after the planning session. It's very important to finish the meeting correctly, inspire employees with positive energy and increase interaction between team members.

See also:

How to control employees’ work. Checkiant - a simple time tracking program

Deadline - friend or foe

Top 12 programs for the remote work

Top 10 techniques for work motivation