There are a few key actions to ensure you’re prepared for an effective meeting. If it’s a planning meeting or a performance review, investing the time and effort into your preparation will make the difference between a successful meeting and one that is a waste of time.
Set the agenda and distribute any reading materials you want attendees to review prior to the meeting. Communication of these materials ahead of time will ensure that everyone is aware of and has a thorough knowledge of the agenda and can participate effectively. Include these in your invitation, or even share them via internal comms. Be specific about what you think is a must-read versus what is nice to have.
Consider any obstacles that might be encountered during the meeting, and develop a strategy for how to address the issues. If you are waiting until the meeting to bring up the issues, you’ll be wasting time trying to bring everyone up to speed.
Don’t forget to set up an effective method of recording and sharing the meeting minutes and any other documents. Having this in place will help keep the momentum going after the meeting, and will ensure everyone is clear about what was discussed and decided upon in the meeting.
Finalize the meeting with a list of the key takeaways. This will allow everyone to feel confident about the next steps to move the discussion forward. This is the perfect way to conclude the meeting and let everyone feel that they are part of a team capable of achieving the goals.