Meeting Practice – Time Management

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Shorten the duration of your meetings if you want to make the procedure more effective. Consider if a meeting is really necessary or could you handle matters in another way: e-mail, fax, telephone conference, memo or handling the issue by means of an informal discussion. Regular meetings should be questioned; is the meeting really necessary or could the frequency of these meetings be reviewed.

A meeting should always be well prepared. Set the objectives for the meeting: What will be introduced, what should be decided and what is the aim. Make sure that the right people are present: Those who have the information, those who will present, and those who have sufficient authority to decide. Prepare a meeting agenda in advance that clearly describes the items to be handled. Information relating to the issues to be handled should be enclosed with the agenda and the participants should be clearly informed of what is expected of them at the meeting. Don’t try to handle too many issues during one meeting. The recommended number of issues for a three-hour meeting is five.

Send the participants an invitation to the meeting in good time and make clear the starting and finishing times, together with the practical arrangements (place, possible transport, opportunities for parking and so on) Time the meeting so that the rest of the working day can be used effectively. The meeting could, for example, finish for lunch, at the end of the working day, or the start of the weekend. Remember to reserve time for breaks. Aim at avoiding unnecessary interruptions during the meeting and request the participants to switch their mobile phones off for the duration of the meeting. You could use a standard checklist intended for planning meetings in order to ensure that the facilities you reserve for the meeting are appropriate and are equipped with the necessary meeting aids. Those who are participating in the meeting and the appointed chairman are responsible for ensuring that the agenda is followed, and that the timetable and breaks are kept to as agreed. Someone can be chosen as ‘time-watchdog’ , whose role is to make sure that the breaks are taken in accordance with what has been agreed beforehand. Many people have to participate in countless meetings in connection with their work. They admit that meetings have become one of the biggest time-stealers. Meetings where the arrangements and organization do not work properly, come in for a lot of criticism. In all organizations many meetings are held that take an enormous amount of time. Issues should be handled in order of the most important down, so that the set objective can be achieved within the time agreed. Aim to handle issues that are related to each other consecutively. Aim to reserve a time limit for each issue handled. In well-managed meetings, on each item under discussion, a decision should be reached on what has to done, who is going to do it, and by what time. At the end of the meeting, make a summary of the decisions that have been taken and agree on what measures will be taken for the future.

And next from me? Yes, a summary on meetings.

Kategoria(t): Time Management. Lisää kestolinkki kirjanmerkkeihisi.


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