A Manager's Guide to Effective Meetings



Every manager is aware of the value of meetings. When conducted properly, a successful meeting increases productivity and improves the odds for good decision making. However, when not organized or carried out properly, meetings can do more harm than good. This can in turn be disruptive to productivity and turn into an ineffective medium for decision making. Therefore, while meetings are a vital part of every organization, they can also be despised by many professionals – managers and non-managers alike.


The good news is that it’s possible to carry out great meetings if certain measures are taken. Here, the Bayt.com experts provide a manager’s guide to effective meetings:


Prepare for the meeting in advance

Time is a precious resource, and no one wants their time wasted. To make sure your meetings get off to a flying start, plan and prepare for them well beforehand. Good preparation includes making sure the conference room has been booked, email invites have been sent at least two days in advance, and that you have detailed the meeting agenda to your team members by email. In the Middle East, 80% of professionals say they are provided with meeting agendas before the meeting starts, according to the Bayt.com Meetings in the Middle East Workplace poll, September 2014. To start on time, it is best if you are the first to arrive.

To hold a successful meeting you also need to have clearly-stated, specific objectives. If you do not know where you are going, you will not know where you have arrived nor will you be able to select the appropriate method for getting there. Objectives serve a variety of purposes. With objectives, participants know what to expect. You also know what you want them to accomplish, and how you can develop appropriate performance indicators at work, or KPIs.



Follow the agenda

As the moderator of the meeting, you are responsible for making sure that all members stay on track of what’s been included in the meeting agenda. To do this, set your meeting agenda with realistic time limits. You can sequence the agenda in a way where issues concerning the whole group are discussed first, followed by issues which may be more one-on-one. This will make it easier for group members to slip out of the meeting once their part is done. If a group member has been talking for longer than their allocated time and their concerns do not affect the group as a whole, then cut them off politely, asking them to carry out the discussion later with you in a one-on-one discussion.



Give everyone a chance to speak

Do your meetings end up having a few people do most of the talking? Often meetings are ineffective because they involve a few opinionated members who are the only ones participating. As the manager and moderator of the meeting, you need to be firm and prevent a talkative group member from monopolizing the meeting, while encouraging the more reticent group members to voice their opinions. According to the Bayt.com Meetings in the Middle East Workplace poll, 60% of professionals say that everyone contributes during meetings. One way to encourage shy members to participate is to ask them to prepare one area to discuss during the meeting. This will give them a voice and help ease them out of their comfort zone.



Document the meeting

Often points discussed and promises made during meetings do not see the light of the day. That’s why recording meeting minutes is important. It helps capture the essential information, i.e. the decisions made and the assigned actions. Documenting the meeting makes it easier to resolve any ambiguity that may occur afterwards and helps keep the plan of action on track. Though quick meetings, such as daily huddles, need not be documented, it’s a good idea to document strategic-level meetings, such as monthly and quarterly gatherings.



Draw out achievable goals

If the meeting is about how to achieve specific goals then it’s important to have a clearly drawn out plan of action outlining what needs to be done and by whom. For every action plan nominate one member as the point person who will ensure that the plan is being carried on.  This person can also handle the related task of updating the progress report.



Create a plan of action

8 in 10 professionals in the Middle East say action items are recorded during meetings and people are held responsible for carrying them out for positive outcomes. At the end of the meeting, draw out the discussion points for the next meeting. Ask your team for their input while building the agenda of the following meeting. This will encourage their participation in future meetings.



About Bayt.com:

Bayt.com is the #1 job site in the Middle East with more than 40,000 employers and over 20,750,000 registered job seekers from across the Middle East, North Africa and the globe, representing all industries, nationalities and career levels. Post a job or find jobs on www.bayt.com today and access the leading resource for job seekers and employers in the region.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *