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Key Steps to Running More Effective Meetings

We’ve all been in that situation - walking out of the meeting room wondering exactly what has been achieved, unsure what we’re supposed to do next and, worst of all, even more confused than we were at the start.


So how do we avoid these potential pitfalls and make sure we’re getting the most from our meetings?

  • First things first – does there really need to be a meeting? There’s nothing worse than realising an issue could have been resolved in a few quick emails or by talking to people directly rather than pouring time and resources into organising a meeting.

  • Make sure people know what the meeting is about. Putting together and circulating a quick agenda in advance will give staff the chance to think about and engage with the topics beforehand, and make sure no one is caught off-guard by a topic.

  • Think about appointing a chairperson to make sure meetings stay lean and focused. It’s all too easy to get swept up in sharing gripes and annoyances, but this can be prevented by someone whose role it is keep everyone firmly on track.

  • Don't let them drag on! Most meetings are arranged with a set start and end time in place, but very few actually seem to stick to them. Making an effort to ensure meetings run to time can stop them eating into the rest of the working day and keep minds sharp.

  • The importance of taking minutes... It can be very frustrating to have to repeat what happened in a meeting to multiple people, so preparing a write-up of the key points and actions for people who couldn’t attend can save you a lot of time further down the line.

  • Is everything on track from last time? Speaking of actions, make sure you set aside some time to check assigned tasks from previous meetings have been completed. It’s good to know what went smoothly and where problems arose, and this also provides a sense of continuity.

  • Finally, encourage participation. Not everyone feels comfortable speaking up in a meeting, but encouraging every attendee to share an idea can tease out new ideas and approaches from people who may not usually volunteer their perspective.

Meetings that take up too much time or are poorly organised can lead to a decline in productivity, increased confusion and valuable time being wasted. Making use of these quick and helpful tips can make your meetings memorable for all the right reasons.

Interested to find out more about how to make the most of your meetings? Why not take a look at the Effective Meetings course delivered by award-winning primary care training providers Thornfields.


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