Whether you are attending work meetings or hosting them, it’s important to have the four Ps of effective meetings in place.
- What are the goals?
Without clarity on this, there’s no reason for the meeting. What are we trying to accomplish today? What projects are we trying to move forward? Is everyone clear on their purpose?
- Is there enough time in the schedule booked to complete the goal?
If not, consider redefining the goal to fit the timeframe.
- Is this a meeting that could have taken place over email?
When meetings lack clarity or are simple enough to be managed over email, why have the meeting at all?
- Are the tasks that need to be completed before the meeting complete?
In addition to your to-do list, don’t forget to prepare to bring the things you need for the meeting including your laptop, charger, notes and a snack!
- Do you understand the purpose of the meeting, and are you prepared to discuss them?
Try not to enter a meeting asking, “What are we even talking about today?” Know the goals and come prepared with the ideas and questions necessary to progress those goals.
- Most importantly, is your mindset in a place to fully engage and be present at the meeting?
Your mindset is like the tires of a car. If one of those tires is blown, the car can’t drive. If you have a bad attitude during a meeting, that will affect the flow and vibe for everyone else.
- Does everyone attending have a role or reason for attending?
Only the people who will provide or receive information need to be there. Everyone else can be productive elsewhere.
- Does everyone feel like they can freely voice their opinions?
It’s important that we’re creating a welcoming environment where participants can feel safe to share their thoughts.
- Is everyone encouraged to participate?
A meeting flows well when everyone is involved. Is the meeting facilitator opening the floor for everyone to contribute?
- Does the meeting have an agenda?
Having a structure helps everyone know what to expect. This also helps with keeping time and staying on task.
- Does the process need a revamp?
Sometimes, we get stuck in our same old ways. Is there something on the agenda that could get cut because it’s no longer serving the purpose? Is there something that could be added to improve the meetings?
- Does the agenda include time to discuss next steps?
To progress the team’s goals, everyone should know what they need to accomplish next. Is that clearly communicated with the whole team?
Now that you have the four Ps of effective meetings, you are ready to maximize your time, energy and resources!