Written by Emily Roycraft
While meetings are important, it can be a challenge to keep everyone on task and keep those meetings from eating into valuable work time. Short meetings sometimes feel like they might not be enough space to cover the issues you need covered, but making meetings efficient can help you have shorter and more focused meetings. Here is a five-step model that will help you get there.
Start With the Most Important Issue
You’ve got something important to say—that’s why you called the meeting! If you start by stating that important issue, you’ll be on topic right out of the gate. You might get off topic from there, but it’s easier to stay on topic if you start in a focused way.
Tell Everybody How This Became an Issue
Give a short overview of the background of the issue you’re there to discuss to keep everyone on the same page. Whether the pertinent details include information about a customer order, what has been done on similar projects, or a challenge that has arisen, this overview will ensure that everyone knows the factors at play.
Give Your Suggested Solution
You probably already know what you think should be done for this, so this step should be easy. Describe what you think the solution looks like, and, while you’re at it…
Lay Out the Steps
How are you going to make your solution a reality? Explain how to get to that solution, including who should be involved and what they’ll be doing. Whether that plan involves one of your coworkers doing some research or getting some important information from your customer by a specific date, let the other people in the meeting know the who, what, when, and where that will help make your solution a reality.
And, don’t forget to give them “why” as well…
What’s the Benefit?
End your suggested solution with the potential benefits. After all, every potential solution has its strong points. Does your idea speak to an audience you’re trying to bring in to your business? Make sure to mention that. Does your budget plan give more money for the things that are most important to the business? Highlight that information. Mention the things that might make your solution the best one.
After you’ve gone through these steps, give the other people in the meeting the chance to ask questions or offer their own suggestions. Keeping your meeting on track could really be that simple, and having these steps planned out in advance can help you get off to a great start.
How do you keep your meetings focused? Tell us about your meeting plan.