Making the most of meetings
Well-run meetings can encourage teamwork, a climate of openness, greater commitment to decisions and better time management. Sound like something you need? The UC Learning Center has a short learning module, Running an Effective Meeting, to help you get started. But if you’re too busy with, well… meetings to take the course, we’ve put together the key points for you here:
Do you even need a meeting?
Can your desired outcomes be achieved through telephone calls, email, or other conversations? If so, you may be able to save yourself and your colleagues some time by using another form of communication.
Yes? Then make it worth your time
If a meeting is the best way to accomplish your goals, follow these planning tips:
- Limit invitees to stakeholders, decision-makers and people with relevant expertise or alternative views; a meeting’s effectiveness is dependent upon the right people being there.
- Find a location with the necessary audio and visual aids (e.g., overhead projector and screen or video conferencing equipment).
- Determine the meeting’s purpose, like problem-solving or decision-making. Develop an agenda and send it out ahead of time, along with any relevant background materials, so attendees can prepare.
Here are some tips for conducting the meeting:
- Start and end on time. Your colleagues will appreciate it!
- Follow the agenda, and leave time for decision-making.
- Participate, listen and clarify, allowing everyone a chance to speak.
- Take and distribute minutes to keep track of what occurred, including action items and due dates.
If your meeting is the first in a series or for a new group that will be working together frequently, you may want to make a “plus/delta” list with attendees to evaluate the meeting so that it can be improved next time.
Want to know more?
The Running an Effective Meeting learning module also contains three attachments to help you better run your next meeting:
- A meeting job aid that guides you through planning and conducting the meeting
- An agenda to determine who will discuss what during the meeting
- Meeting minutes to keep track of who attended, what happened and any action items
Sign up on the UC Learning Center.
Questions about this or other UC Learning Center classes? Contact Annie.Prozan@ucop.edu.