Rules are the glue to effective and efficient meetings
Do you dread the word meeting? Do you find they’re a time waster? This is common problem in lots of organizations, no matter which industry you’re in. There are some common ways to ensure your meetings are productive; such as: follow an agenda, plan it in advance and have the right people in the room. But even if you do all this, meetings can run a muck. A key distinguishing factor in well run meetings are meeting rules that everyone follows. Use these 8 rules to ensure order and understanding for all meeting attendees.
Rule #1: You (participants) are responsible for the meeting success
Participants and organizers of meetings all need to be accountable to the successful outcome. This is not a one way street. Success is based on everyone’s participation and full attention. If you don’t remind your participants of this, they will forget.
Rule #2: One person speaks at a time
How many meetings have you attended where people are interrupting and talking over each other and the meeting gets out of control? This is why this rule is so important.
Rule #3: Be supportive of all opinions
When you’re trying to resolve an issue, it can be hard to be supportive of everyone’s opinion. That opinion, however, may have the golden nugget that, when tweaked resolves your issue.
Rule #4: Think process not personality
When you’re in meetings think of the task at hand. If you’re resolving issues, think of the data and stick to the facts, it’s not about company politics.
Rule #5: Think of how it CAN be done, not how it can’t
I love this rule. So many times people focus on the negative. This doesn’t help anyone. Turn it around and think positively. I promise you’ll get more done.
Rule #6: What is said here stays here
Trust and feeling safe is critical for employees. In order for employee’s to excel at their job, they need to know they can be honest without ramification when in meetings. Meetings are organized for moving things forward. If employees can’t share their thoughts and opinions in a safe and respectful environment then the organization is losing out, resulting in a negative impact to the organization’s productivity and growth.
Rule #7: Details, Details, Details
If you have a meeting ensure you are detailed. If you are discussing things that need to be done, assign responsibilities and due dates. If you are discussing ideas, provide the needed time to finish the task and go into the detail needed for success. The worst is having a meeting where it only skims the surface resulting in nothing getting done (expect wasting people’s time!)
Rule #8: Phones and computer off
If you’re in a meeting, be present and participate. It’s proven that if you multi-task you are unable to properly focus on all the tasks you are trying to accomplish. You will miss out on important things. If you have to attend to your computer or phone, then don’t go to the meeting. Be present and give your full attention to whatever you’re doing. Being an active participant ensures successful meeting outcomes …remember rule #1!
Post these rules, or create your own, on your meeting room wall. At the beginning of each meeting review them. If someone should break a rule, respectfully call them on it and get them back on track to being an active participant. Meetings are productive and well worth everyone’s time when run effectively and efficiently. Meeting rules are the glue that ensures everyone remains focused on the task at hand.
What rules do you use in your meetings? Feel free to leave a comment below or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you could always write your own blog post on the subject and share it with us… We’d love to read it!