Thu, Sep 16, 2021 @ 11:00 AM Effective Meetings
In my career, I've been in some pretty dismal meetings—ones where I struggled to keep my eyes open, ones where I watched the clock in agony, or ones where I altogether checked out and did something else. I also once worked in a small company where there were no meetings at all. If you've got a bad meeting problem, this probably sounds like a good situation, but in practice, it led to a lot of confusion, rework and frustration. Even in a small team of fewer than 10 people who were all in the same building, when we didn't have any regular touchpoints to get aligned, we inevitably ended up with costly miscommunication and avoidable mistakes.
The good news is that there is definitely a better way—a middle ground between boring, bad meetings that go on forever and the chaos of no meetings at all. Over the last 15 years of working with businesses from every industry, of every size, and from all over the country, our team has learned some patterns for meetings that are effective and productive. Since we believe effective meetings are the heartbeat of a successful company's rhythm of work, we are passionate about helping our clients make breakthroughs and transform boring meetings into productive ones. We've worked to integrate those learnings into the latest version of our Rhythm software to make it easy for anyone to have a great meeting.
Here's how Rhythm takes the guesswork out of having an effective meeting:
Stay organized. If you've ever facilitated a meeting that you thought went great, but when the next meeting rolls around, you can't find any of the notes and nobody took down the follow up actions and you swore you had that agenda saved on your hard drive...and what did we actually discuss anyway? This is why we have a dedicated place to manage your meetings in Rhythm. You can keep all your notes, agenda, follow up tasks and attachments organized. You can even put the meeting location—whether it's a conference room or a Zoom link—and download the meeting right to your calendar.
Start with why. An essential element of an effective meeting is beginning with the end in mind. If you don't know why you are having the meeting, it's going to be hard to make it successful. That's why every meeting record in Rhythm prompts you for a Topic and purpose of the meeting: we ask you to complete the statement, "This meeting will be successful if," for each meeting you have. This is what we call a "minor major," a seemingly small thing that can have a big impact on how effective your meeting is.
Keep everyone in the loop. You can choose to notify attendees about your meetings or any changes you make to the details as you organize the meeting in advance. You can also collaborate on the meeting record ahead of time if there's something you want to have the teamwork on or think about in advance. Rather than sending around emails, keep those pre-meeting comments right on your meeting record so you have one source of truth for everything around that meeting.
Follow our best practice agendas. We've made it super easy for you to run the meeting with our best practice agendas for Strategic Annual Planning, Quarterly Planning, Weekly Meetings and Performance Conversations. We include links to the relevant data for you to review at each point in the agenda with suggested timing. You can create and save your own custom agenda templates, too, for your other meetings.
Brainstorm to solve problems. We even give you a workspace to brainstorm with the team. You can create as many "Ideas Boards" as you need on the meeting record to generate ideas, categorize them however you'd like, rank them on impact and ability, plot them on a chart, and vote on the top choices. You'll even be able to convert your top ideas to goals.
Never lose sight of the follow up tasks. Stop jotting down the notes, decisions and follow up items in your notebook, on sticky notes or capturing them in other systems. Keep them right on the meeting record, where they will show up on the assigned person's task list. You'll be able to see directly from your meeting list if some of the tasks from the last meeting are still overdue.
Utilizing this robust toolset can transform boring, ineffective meetings into productive time for your team to get aligned and solve problems together. We'd love to show you how the Rhythm platform can help you transform your meetings.
How to Run a Team Meeting Resources
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