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What makes a good meeting?

Meetings are a necessary part of any organisation, but all too often they can become a source of frustration and wasted time. A poorly planned and executed meeting can leave attendees feeling unproductive and disengaged, which can have a negative impact on the overall productivity of the organisation. Therefore, it is crucial to follow specific guidelines when planning and executing meetings to ensure that they are effective and serve their purpose.

In the end, a good meeting needs a clear agenda, a focused approach, action-oriented tasks, active participation, a clear plan for what to do next, and a minimum number of meetings. Let's take a closer look at each of these elements to understand how they contribute to a successful meeting.

A clear agenda is essential to any meeting's success. Without a clear agenda, attendees may not know what to expect or what is expected of them, resulting in a disorganised and unproductive meeting. The agenda should be communicated in advance to all participants so that they can prepare appropriately.

A focused approach is also critical to a successful meeting. The meeting should be focused on specific goals and objectives, and all discussions should be related to these goals. This ensures that the meeting remains productive and that time is not wasted on irrelevant topics.

Action-oriented tasks are essential for ensuring that the meeting serves its purpose. Attendees should be given specific tasks to complete and deadlines to meet, rather than simply discussing general ideas. This approach ensures that everyone has a clear understanding of what is expected of them and provides a sense of accountability.

Active participation is also crucial to a successful meeting. All attendees should be encouraged to contribute, and their opinions should be valued. This not only fosters a sense of teamwork but also allows for a diversity of perspectives, leading to better decision-making.

To make sure the meeting's decisions are carried out well, there needs to be a clear plan for what to do next. After the meeting, it is important to summarise the decisions made and the action items assigned. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them.

Finally, meetings should be kept to a minimum. The fewer meetings that are held, the more productive and effective they are likely to be. Therefore, it's important to evaluate whether a meeting is truly necessary before scheduling one.

In conclusion, meetings can be a good way to get work done and make it easier for people to work together. However, they are only as effective as the effort put into planning and executing them. By following the guidelines of having a clear agenda, a focused approach, action-oriented tasks, active participation, a clear follow-up plan, and minimal frequency, meetings can become a valuable tool for achieving organisational goals. It's up to the organisers and attendees to ensure that they are making the most of their time by following these guidelines.