How To Run A Meeting

English: Sir Winston Churchill.

English: Sir Winston Churchill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” Winston Churchill

There are few things people hate more than having their time wasted. Yet how many times have you sat through a marathon meeting and wondered whether the person running it had a clue as to how bored and irritated you were.

If you are like most people I am willing  to guess that it has happened multiple times. Sometimes it feels like an epidemic. You move from one unproductive meeting to the next and wonder if Juan Valdez might be willing to deliver a barrel of coffee to the conference room.

But it really doesn’t have to be that way because it is not that hard to run a meeting.

Three Steps

  1. Prepare an agenda.
  2. Stick to your agenda.
  3. Stick to your agenda.

There is no typo in that list. I intentionally repeated numbers 2 and 3.

Your agenda is your guide for what to discuss and to what to focus upon. One of the reasons why meetings go haywire is that the leader doesn’t make sure that the agenda is followed.

Don’t let your meeting be hijacked by others who have their own agenda outside of the one you prepared. Thank them for sharing their thoughts and ask them to send you an email about it after the meeting.

Stick to your agenda and stay focused.

Develop a list of action items and determine who is going to be responsible for those.

Stick to your agenda and stay focused.

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2 Comments

  1. Hajra September 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I always tell people that if they are going to keep it funny, I am ready to listen. Yes, a little bit of humor can always make its way everywhere.

    And obviously, sticking to what you want to convey totally will win votes.

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