Use an agenda for your next meeting
Don’t you hate being at endless, unproductive meetings and not even knowing what they are for? We all have been through it: a meeting appointment in your email with a single-word title or, even worse, with an ambiguous title. “And now what? What is it about? What do you need to prepare for this meeting? What is expected from me? 😤” Here’s an easy, quick tip to boost your meetings: use a simple and clear agenda and if you are invited to a meeting with no clear objective, ask for the agenda of this meeting. Why?
1.- So that everyone knows in advance what the meeting is about
Having a clear agenda on what the meeting is about, makes the objective of the meeting clear. You don’t need to make it too extensive. A short bullet point list would serve. This way, everyone in the meeting can remember the agenda. Also, make it accessible to everyone attending the meeting: you can place it directly in the calendar invitation description, for example, or send your team an email with the subject “agenda for X meeting”, showing that you are giving it the importance it has.
2.- Because you don’t need to attend it if you’re not useful to the meeting
When you are invited to a meeting with a clear agenda, you’ll know what to expect, and whether you can contribute to something relevant. You’ll have the intel to decide if you are whether you should attend or not. So, request the agenda when you are invited to a meeting, decide if you will be useful or not for that meeting and make sure your precious time is properly used.
3.- Because you’ll know why you are holding it and who you need to invite
As an organizer, if you write down the points to be tackled in the meeting, you’ll know exactly why you are calling it (it might sound obvious but, incredibly that's not always the case) and how long you expect it to last. Also, you’ll know who to invite, so that everyone is relevant for the meeting and no one wastes their time. Finally, it helps you focus on the issue(s) and leads you towards possible solutions 👌.
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4.- So that everyone is aligned looking for solutions
With a clear agenda, at the time of the meeting, you’ll find your team ready: they'll know what has to be done and have some ideas in their minds (or notebooks). The agenda will help you run the meeting. Having a clear, simple, and shared agenda allows your team to be aligned, and focused on looking for solutions. Doesn’t this sound more effective?