Love or hate ’em we all have to have  meetings. Many of us find meetings a boring waste of time and avoid them whenever we can. The reality is that being able to manage a flawless meeting opens the door on creativity, collaboration, innovation and creating action.

Think of the a perfect meeting as a delectable sandwich . Your bread is the planning and follow through. The filling is the discussion itself.

We’ll be making your sandwich in two steps in  week follow our delicious 8-step recipe for planning and follow through. Next week come back for tips and tricks on how to manage the discussion.

Before your meeting:

  1. Set an action agenda: focus your meeting on the decisions that need to be made. Leave the “for information” slots out and use email instead.
  2. Send you agenda in advance: give people a deadline to comment. Avoid changes to your agenda on the day.
  3. Send out background information: if there’s context to understand, send it with enough time for everyone to read it before the meeting
  4. Pick your meeting place: make sure your venue has all the kit you’ll need for your meeting. Make sure there is space for everyone to sit around the table.
  5. Hydrate! Make sure you have water for your meeting. If you are want snacks keep them healthy to avoid a sugar crash.


After your meeting

  1. End on time.
  2. Keep action minutes: unless there is a governance requirement, focus your minutes on who needs to do what and by when.
  3. Follow up: make it your business to follow up after the meeting. Following up is a great way to hold delegates accountable.

Next week I’ll share some of the tips from How To Think to help you manage discussions effectively.

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