As a leader, you are responsible for your team running smoothly. This refers to all business activities, meetings included.

It may sound easy, but a meeting is an excellent opportunity to showcase all of your skills.

These skills include time management, people management, and presentation.

So what makes an effective meeting?

The Purpose

Ensure that the meeting is truly necessary.

They are usually conducted at a great loss of everyone’s time. You do not want to take people away from their tasks and spend time with no particular results.

Teams should meet and discuss important issues. However, occasionally this work can be done in daily briefings which take up only a couple of minutes of everyone’s time.

Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with this meeting.

The Time

There should be at least one week’s notice before a meeting. The participants need time to prepare for it.

Also, they need time to arrange their other work-related engagements so the organization does not suffer due to the meeting.

Plan the length of the session, and make sure it commences and finishes on time.

The Participants

The purpose of every meeting – which is not purely reporting – is to put heads together and come up with solutions and strategies.

The only way you can do this effectively is if you have the right heads present. The last thing you want is to have an incorrect record of an event, or to be unable to make a decision due to the lack of correct authority.

The purpose of the meeting is to create a plan and get things done.

Delegate

As a leader and a manager, it is your job to delegate tasks to your team members.

To ensure people are included and to empower them, delegate the tasks accordingly. Name people who are responsible for certain sections of the meeting.

They can, for example, do the reporting, present issues and forecasts, and offer solutions.

The goal is to have all the participants actively included and to encourage discussion among the team. Don’t forget to make sure someone will be taking down the minutes of the meeting.

Create a Clear Agenda

The only way to stay on schedule is to have a schedule. Your meeting agenda should contain time frames for each subject covered.

Make sure that all of the participants are aware of the agenda by distributing it at least two days in advance.

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Write it out on the black glass board in the meeting room. That way, they will have a visual to remind them of the meeting structure.

Delegate Action Items

As you go through your agenda and discuss each of the points, you should delegate action items straight away.

Postponing this could lead to accidental omission and unnecessary delays.

Once the meeting ends, each of the participants will know what they have to do following the meeting. You will have a record of it in the minutes, and you will know exactly who is responsible for what.

This will help get things done, and prepared for the next meeting.

Eliminate Distractions

The only technology in the meeting room should be the one used for the visuals. If you allow everyone to use their phone, tablets, and laptops, you are in for a lot of distractions.

You may not notice them, but you will not have the full attention of all the participants.

Manage the Pace

It is your job to support the conversation and keep the focus.

This way, no time will be wasted and you will move from one point of the agenda to another.

If you get stuck on a certain subject, encourage the participants to move away from it and come back to it at the end of the meeting. Perhaps it even needs more work done and additional actions taken to get to the solution.

Whenever you notice a single person dominating the room, take over and encourage others to speak to let them feel included.

Concluding the Meeting

Wrapping up is as important as the rest of the meeting. Make sure you set the deadline for the action items and draw a conclusion.

Follow up with participants by sending them the minutes from the meeting. When you have a concrete conclusion at the end of the meeting, you know that it was a success.

How Can Leaders Run Effective Business Meetings?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Steven Clarke
Steven Clarke is business consultant/web entrepreneur. In his spare time, he likes to write about his ideas and share them with the world. Steven is a regular contributor to several websites.