No matter how large or small your home furnishings business, meetings are an essential part of your world. But, how many of them are productive and produce the anticipated results? Surprisingly few. How many of them just feel like an opportunity for someone else to hear themselves talk? More than we’re willing to admit.
Before you call another round-table discussion, be sure to ask yourself if a meeting is even necessary. After all, meetings can become a nasty little habit if left unchecked.
If you have an issue that can be handled with a few emails and phone calls, you’re better off leaving employees to tackle their day-to-day tasks at their desk. After all, every time you call someone away, it’s taking time and money away from your company by standing in the way of what it is they were hired to do. Yes, reread and let that sink in.
Determine Type of Meeting
Before you call a meeting, determine the type of meeting you’re going to have and the best method for delivering the information.
Briefings give information or instruction on new policies, objectives, strategies, and assignments.
Status meetings monitor the progress of projects and help you develop your team with time management tips and strategies.
Delegation meetings move the workload around to redistribute assignments and responsibilities for a more equitable distribution.
Brainstorming meetings gather the creative collective for problem-solving around a central problem or query.
Collaborations or work sessions bring people together from varied roles for a multi-functional team approach to completing a common or shared goal.
Presentations deliver information in a format that doesn’t necessarily require or call for interaction and group participation.
Set a Clear Goal/Objective
This ensures everyone in the meeting understands why the meeting was called and includes a statement about the expected outcome. With this in place, everyone can move forward confidently with their contributions in mind.
Create an Agenda with Timelines
Outline the talking points and queries for your meeting time in an order that makes sense to you. Set deadlines for hard assignments – and don’t forget to leave time for questions. Your goal is to wrap the meeting on time (or early), so be sure to include an opportunity for unforeseen conversations to happen quickly.
Set the Invite List & Check it Twice
With your clear goal/objective in mind, think carefully about who should be sitting at the table or dialing in. Send your invitation along with a copy of the meeting’s agenda. This way, team members are able to prepare themselves for the conversations to be had during the meeting.
Take Your Own Notes
While leading the meeting, make sure to jot down the distribution of work so you can follow up with the appropriate people as necessary.
Recap Before Leaving the Meeting Room
Before your team members leave the conference room table, recount who is responsible for what and on which date. This lets them know that not only were you listening and active in the meeting, you recognize them and personally hold them accountable for their tasks.
When you call more effective meetings, your team members are poised for a win. So, get smart and strategic about what you’re talking about, who you’re sharing the information with, why and when. In short, stop wasting your own company’s time!!!
Now, let us hear from you. How do you make meetings more effective? Are there any tips or tricks you want to share with your fellow home furnishings professionals? If so, leave a comment in the space below.