Lyssna på inlägg - Listen to post
Meetings and meeting culture are basically very simple - and that is what makes things so difficult. Because as with everything that concerns people and their relationships, it doesn't really matter how fine rules and supporting documents we have. When we sit face-to-face with each other, we have to realise that we all have different priorities and are passionate about completely different things. It is even the case that some professions live on meetings while other groups have a more practical profession, which leads to stress over sitting in an irrelevant meeting, for them, when they could have escaped a lot of work.
After 20 years in school with different meetings and meeting types at different workplaces and departments, I thought to highlight the most important points for a successful meeting. It is based entirely unscientiously on what I dislike most and what I have heard my friends and colleagues annoyed and regretted over all these years.
“Well, it was 1.5 hours that I never get back.” is not an unusual comment, unfortunately.
Of course, I am guilty of breaking some of these rules from time to time, but of course I try to constantly improve myself. However, nowadays I try to keep myself from holding meetings as well as participating in them and it works pretty well. Because there are few things that make it crawl in my body, like sitting in a meeting that really shouldn't have been a meeting.
The 10 points are listed in a chronological order, from the idea of a meeting until the meeting is completed. Now we go!
In addition, remember - everything is not black or white. There are different degrees of gray scale.
All meetings are voluntary
Of course, there will always be meetings where you will have to participate, for example because of your expertise, but basically all meetings should be eligible.
If you are called to a meeting and do not feel that you are interested or have anything to add, it is better that you have the opportunity to abstain. It will improve the quality of the meeting as those in place actually want to be (hopefully).
If you call a meeting and no one wants to come, it might say something about the content, or your co-workers.:)
Before calling a meeting - is a meeting needed?
There is a kind of meeting that always becomes a hit.;) It is the meeting that is not very thought out and often comes out of the fact that the person who called the meeting did not really formulate his own thoughts for himself first. Another alternative to this is often the information meeting - created from the fact that the person who wants to inform did not take the time to put their information in an email.
It often becomes some kind of unstructured ballboard meeting, which rarely leaves anyone satisfied.
An extra bonus is when you get the keynote from the briefing and realize that it would have been enough - and that in 2 minutes you managed to get the information that took an hour at the meeting.
Are you hungry to book a meeting? If so, do you know what you want to get out of it? Maybe it's enough to send an email, or call or chat with someone first? Or to sit down in peace and quiet and think a little bit first.
What kind of meeting do you call?
Now you've decided that you'd like to call some colleagues into a meeting. First, think about what kind of meeting you are calling for. Is it an information meeting, a decision meeting or a discussion meeting? Depending on the type of meeting, different forms of preparation may be needed by you and your meeting participants, and it is rarely good to mix the types.
For example, it can be difficult to make a sensible decision after listening for an hour to someone who informs about something that would actually have been an email, then discuss the content for another hour and then make a sensible decision when everyone just wants to go home.
This would have been two shorter in meetings - discussion and decision. Why not three? Well, because no one will ever call a briefing. For example, we use e-mails to.
3.5 Information Meeting
It is almost always wrong to hold an information meeting, but sometimes need can force us. At least make sure that there is the possibility of questions or other communication at the end. Another hot tip is to hold the meeting via, for example, Skype or similar service, so people can sit wherever they want.
Agenda with few items (preferably one) and what you should have achieved with the meeting / purpose
When you are called to a meeting, there should of course be a clear agenda with the information about the content that allows you to decide whether to participate or not. In addition to the agenda, there is, of course, a clear purpose of the meeting and what the meeting inviter wants to achieve when the meeting is completed. It is not enough for it to say 'Budget' as a paragraph, or 'Mr Micke has the floor'. The better the preparatory work, the better the conditions.
NOTE! If you invite to the meeting still want several items at your meeting, make sure these are relevant to all your participants. If not, you've lost these participants to social media, Candy Crush or the job they could have done if they didn't have to attend your meeting. Nobody likes to just sit off half an hour pretending to be interested in something you've been excluded from. In this case, plan the points and allow participants to deviate when they are no longer affected.
OBS2! If you invite to the meeting have invited an external person to attend a specific point, make sure that point is first. Do not let the external person wait. Respect.
Come always prepared or did not come at all
If you are invited, for example, to a discussion meeting or a decision meeting where you would have entered - and read a document - but not, you may leave the meeting. The other meeting participants have no time to put you into what the material is dealing with. They also don't have time to listen to when you've spoken unheard of the subject in the hope of faking your way through the meeting. Own up and think about why you didn't do what you were supposed to, when you decided to participate in the meeting.
Always come on time - and start at the appointed time
No, there is no academic quarter of meetings — only disrespect for the time of others. Point.
Always start meetings at the appointed time - and just as in the previous paragraph, subsequent participants should not be added to what they have missed.
Of course, everyone may be late at some point, but with your hand on your heart, you know that it often applies to those people who were in systems to come 5 minutes late.
Lead the meeting
This point should actually be first, but now we're going a little chronologically in the order of meetings, so now it ends up here. Most complaints I hear in meetings are usually due to the fact that no one really leads the meeting. Of course, the caller of the meeting will lead the meeting, but of course they can outsource it to someone else. Only there is a clear leader.
If everything in paragraphs 1 to 6 is fixed, then the management of the meeting is to ensure that what is to be discussed is actually dealt with and nothing else. As quickly and efficiently as possible. And this is where we have to trap in those participants who always go off topic, do not understand the question, like their own voice far too much, see all meetings as ventilation for how bad everything is and gladly pull down all the mood and suck the air out of everything and everyone. It is a completely different meeting, unless it is precisely those things that are to be discussed.
Hit as soon as you see the tendencies and stick to the agenda. Otherwise, it's just as good to finish the meeting. The energy and focus of the participants have disappeared in a completely different direction now.
Someone is never appointed as responsible
Everyone's responsibility is nobody's responsibility. If you decide something, big or small, there must always be a designated person responsible for it. Otherwise, nothing will happen. And at the next meeting, you'll wonder why Nobody has done what you decided Someone should have done.
Those who are appointed as responsible for what you decide shall also follow up and inform about their point and when it is done.
A meeting doesn't have to be the time out
An extremely common mistake. A meeting is not an exchange of time to get out of work. If you set aside an hour for a meeting, but you're ready after 20 minutes, finish it. Pat your back for being effective and go have a coffee together. Other drinks, of course, also work.
Evaluate the meeting
It is always good to run a quick summary of the meeting and reconcile if you did what you were going to do. It's not unusual for people to come out of meetings and wonder what they've done or what they've been talking about.
You could also ask yourself questions such as:
Was there a clear reason for the meeting and did we grab what we were supposed to?
Was the content relevant to you?
Did you get anything out of the meeting?
That meeting led us to something?
Did we have to take this meeting face-to-face?
In recent years, I myself have no major problems with the meetings I attend. I think they keep a reasonably high level, but it's also about the fact that I opt out of the people I know will not give me anything. In addition, many have started to hold meetings via Skype and the like, and it fits me like the hand in the glove.
If the meetings I call to stand up, someone else will probably have to answer, but I try to think about the points I have listed above.
What are your best tips for holding good meetings? Please advise in the comments here or on social media, and I will add these to the article.
Photo by Bernard Hermant from Unsplash