How to conduct an effective meeting has always been a headache. However, I recently attended a workshop and learned a new way of conducting meetings that made me realize meetings can be efficient. The workshop instructor said, “Efficient meetings = Efficient processes + Efficient team communication skills.”
To reiterate: Efficient meetings = Efficient processes + Efficient team communication skills.
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Improving team communication skills cannot be achieved in a short period of time as each team member has their own communication style. However, can we improve the efficiency of a meeting through processes?
The answer is yes.
The following statements may not be accurate. Please translate them into English while maintaining the natural language flow.
01 Three Essentials for Conducting a Meeting
After giving it some thought, from the perspective of process control, to conduct an effective meeting, three essentials must be met:
- Clear purpose
- Clear process
- Strong facilitation
02-The purpose must be clear.
Different purposes correspond to different meeting processes. Before creating a meeting process, we need to answer why we need to have this meeting and what the purpose is.
Is it to inform about something, discuss a plan, or review a project?
Different purposes correspond to different meeting types, such as weekly meetings, daily morning meetings, team decision-making meetings, one-on-one meetings, team retrospective meetings, and so on.
03-The process must be clear.
The meeting process must be clear, and each agenda item in the process must have a clear purpose and rules.
For example, if we want to hold a weekly meeting, what should a more common process look like?
Here is an excerpt of the meeting process provided by the workshop:
- Opening: How was your work status in the past week?
- Goal Alignment: The goal owner synchronizes team goals and answers questions about the goal to ensure that everyone maintains open and consistent information.
- Project Progress: Project members synchronize progress and communicate actions that need to be tracked to ensure that everyone maintains open and consistent information.
- Issue Discussion: What are the pain points, bottlenecks, and opportunities in your work? How do you expect the team to support you? Encourage team members to add topics to the meeting and clearly express their needs to ensure that each topic is discussed and recorded effectively.
- Closing Summary & Feedback Collection: Do team members understand important team progress? Were the issues resolved efficiently during the meeting? Do team members have more motivation and confidence?
Note: The agenda does not specify rules. If there are detailed rules, it will further enhance the efficiency of the meeting. (Detailed rules can be found in the link at the end of the text.)
04-The moderator needs to be powerful.
Why do we say that?
Because if the moderator is not powerful, everyone will easily talk over each other, talk to themselves, or even start a battle.
If a meeting is like a symphony performance, then the moderator is the chief conductor of the orchestra, and the moderator is very, very, very, very important.
Of course, many times, the chief conductor still has to listen to the boss.
05-Way to develop a meeting process:
Listed below are commonly used agendas for a meeting. When organizing a meeting, we only need to assemble the necessary agendas to use them.
- Action Tracking
- Goal Alignment
- Project Updates
- Issue Discussion
- Clarification Questions
- Collective Feedback
- Team Decision Making
- Conclusion and Feedback Collection
At the end of the meeting, it is important to summarize the key takeaways and action items, and to collect feedback from participants to help improve future meetings.
In summary, to run an effective meeting, it is important to have clear objectives, a structured agenda, and a skilled facilitator. All participants should be aligned on the meeting’s goals and objectives, and there should be a clear plan for follow-up and action items. Huddles.app provides a comprehensive platform for managing meetings and agendas, and can help ensure that your meetings are productive and efficient.
Author: Ashley Mitchell
Team meeting expert with over 10 years of experience in facilitating productive and engaging meetings. Ashley’s passion for effective communication and teamwork has led her to become a sought-after consultant and speaker in the field of team meeting management.