Tips for efficient meeting management
Managers often ask themselves how they can organize efficient and target-oriented meeting management. What instruments need to be employed to achieve the objective without wasting large amounts of time?
Meetings are one of the biggest communicative challenges in working life. A significant share of work time is spent with meetings, conferences and gatherings. They serve joint decisions on internal company and project-related matters. However, it is frustrating for everyone when precious time set aside for this purpose is not effectively utilized.
There are many reasons for this: Lots of talk is common, but often deviations are made from the actual problem or topic. Another reason for inefficient meetings is lacking professional moderation. The following provides some tips for planning, conducting and following up meetings.
Successful meeting management requires careful planning of all problems to be discussed. It’s helpful to create a document containing essential criteria, such as type of meeting, objective, content, participants, place and duration, which can serve as a basis for meeting planning. As part of planning, it is established whether an information meeting, a discussion of a problem, a fixed-date meeting, or a negotiation is to be held.
Based on this, the above-mentioned criteria can be considered. These should be schematically addressed, always taking the available work time and effort into account. Notes are fully sufficient for this. Ideally, the person in charge of moderating the meeting should also prepare the planning.
As mentioned under "planning", the meeting should ideally have a moderator. This could be the company manager or a project manager. It’s important that others involved are aware of this individual’s role. The moderator is responsible for steering the discussion in a success-oriented manner. This person should employ suitable meeting methods, such as brainwriting or mind mapping, as well as questioning- and visualization techniques, and this person should be able to motivate other participants to use these.
In addition, the moderator should keep an eye on the agreed time frame, adhere to the structure of subjects to be addressed and the ongoing discussion, and should be able to end the meeting on time.
Follow up is part of successful meeting management. Minutes should record all results, important statements and agreements. Depending on the type of meeting, a differentiation should be made between minutes of thecourse of events and a summary of findings. While the first provides a chronological record of the meeting, the second contains a brief and succinct summary of all resulting findings.
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