How to Run an Effective Meeting

Inc. Magazine reports that Doodle’s 2019 State of Meeting study revealed that in 2019 alone poorly organized meeting cost U.S. organizations $399 billion  and $58 billion in the U.K. This is almost half a trillion dollars for these two countries alone

Use these steps to keep the meetings you run from falling into these costly traps.

1) Ensure an Email Would Not Suffice

According to Forbes, employees perceive 27% of meeting time as wasted time. This is due to information that could have been better communicated via email versus in person. So how do we decide what should be email or in-person? Email is an effective tool to communicate objective, clear messages that do not require multiple questions. Examples of these messages can be a clear policy change or an update on metrics.

2) Carefully Select Attendees

There is not an ideal meeting size as it is dependent on the topic. However, there should be a meaningful purpose why each person is in attendance. Employees will stay engaged if the manager clearly communicates the reason why they have been selected to attend.

3) Start the Meeting by Stating the Purpose and Agenda

The very beginning of the meeting should clearly outline the points that will be reviewed, and the purpose for gathering. This will allow team members to clearly follow along and give them time to prepare thoughts or questions. It is also effective to email the outline of the meeting to employees prior to the meeting so they are prepared.

4) Take Time to Engage the Employees

It’s important to avoid lecturing the entire time without employee input. Take time after each different section to ask if there are any questions. It’s also acceptable to direct a question or ask a specific person for input to establish expectations for participation. At the beginning of the meeting, it can also help to engage in small talk by asking them “how they are doing” to make them feel comfortable speaking up.

5) Be Mindful of Non-Verbal Cues and Emotions

The key difference between emails and meeting messages is the non-verbal cues that will be communicated. Employees are taking sub-conscious notes on the demeanor and style in which the message is communicated. In many cases, it is the responsibility for the manager to stay professional, stay positive, and be confident which can come across simply by the body language and tone spoken with.

6) Finish with a Brief Review and Express Gratitude

It’s always a good idea to quickly recap all of the topics covered in the meeting. This can be a helpful reminder for employees that may have missed a key part or had to attend late. Also despite the nature of the meeting, try to end the meeting on a positive note encouraging and motivating employees. This can be done by expressing gratitude and recognizing them for their fantastic work.


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