Working as an Administrative Assistant, I have prepared and delivered literally hundreds of meetings.
Although each meeting serves a different group and has different goals, these 4 simple rules have helped me to run a meeting that doesn’t run amok.
Arrive on time
As organizer, it’s important to lead by example. Arriving on time usually means arriving at least 10 minutes early. Especially when/if there are computers that need to be set up for a Powerpoint demonstration or something similar.
And return promptly after breaks. I’m a big believer in awarding those who stick to the clock rather than waiting for those who don’t seem able to keep time.
Be courteous and respectful
This may seem obvious but unfortunately, some people think it’s okay to hold side conversations when others are talking.
It’s a simple way to show respect by allowing everyone the opportunity to speak without being interrupted or having to raise their voice.
Focus disagreements on ideas, not on individuals
Keep the “you” word out of the discussion.
Stay away from saying, “you did this, you did that” as it raises hackles and can quickly shut down a constructive conversation.
Use of electronic media should be relevant to the current meeting
A little reminder to everyone at the beginning of the meeting to turn off cell phones can help to run a more professional meeting.
There’s nothing more distracting than a distracted person reading and typing on their phone.
Following these 4 simple rules will help to make your next meeting a productive one!