Meetings are a four-lettered word among most farmers and business owners, but at some point you will probably need to turn off the two-way radio, set the email and texts aside and have a face to face meeting. Meetings have a bad rap because we have all been in poorly executed meetings. They start late, happen too often, drag on with no end in sight, the wrong people are included or nothing ever seems to get accomplished. These are only some of the bad attributes of meetings, so it is no wonder why they have a bad rap.
The key is to have an efficient, relevant meeting that covers specified topics with defined outcomes. To help, I’ve compiled a list of simple guidelines to help your next meeting run smoothly and effectively.
Try these best practices in your next meeting and see the difference.
1. Set and adhere to a strict start and stop time. Be on time.
2.Only invite relevant and active meeting participants.
3.Have a written agenda. Bulleted points on a whiteboard work just as well.
4.Define which items on the agenda require participant input, approval or are just informational.
5.Have a meeting facilitator who will keep the meeting organized and moving forward.
6.Decisions that require action should define who does the task, deadlines and how the results are communicated back.
7.Move the meeting forward-even in small increments- without rehashing the same topics.
8.Keep it short. (No longer than 2 hours)
Meetings have gotten a bad rap over the years, but I believe it mainly stems from lack of purpose and structure. Follow the tips above and you will be well on your way in bringing another valuable tool into your management toolbox.