Conducting (or Conduct in) the meeting
- Firstly - Don’t be late!
- Stick to the items of business.
- Limit digressions – keep to time. Note any interesting items raised during the meeting and revisit them for discussion in AOB.
- No cross-talk and NO CROSS TALK!! Talking over each other or having a shouting match tends to be unproductive.
- The Chair is the referee not the star player – there to facilitate and ensure the business of the meeting is conducted efficiently.
- Ensure everyone is allowed a voice - Actively encourage the quiet one at the back who may well be harbouring the nugget of information everyone needs to hear.
- Read back the Actions, check they are agreed and minuted.
- Do not allocate actions for absentees – action someone to approach them to discuss and gain their agreement after the meeting.
- Take items “off line” ONLY when private/confidential or off topic issues are raised and need resolving.
- You should have all the right people there to make decisions, take responsibility, have accountability and get things done.
The Follow Up
Revisit the actions and follow up where required.
Set a date for the next meeting as soon as is practical.
Include incomplete actions in the agenda of next meeting so they are not lost.
...So the cycle continues but in a more coherent, happier and more productive way than perhaps it did in the past.
And one final thought:
Meetings are like viruses...they are self replicating organisms that can drain your energy....Don't get infected!