When it comes to planning and organizing a meeting, several success factors play a role. Here are 4 tips that can help you achieve near-perfect meetings.
- 1. Who comes at all?
- 2. Number of Participants
- 3. Meeting duration: short or long?
- 4. The right minutes
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1. Who comes at all?
A success factor that should not be underestimated is the decision as to whom you invite to the meeting and whom you do not. At routine meetings or at a jour fixe the number of participants is clear. In other cases, the objective and agenda items determine who gets invited.
Don’t invite too many participants, because for a successful meeting the fewer participants the better. If you have a manageable number of participants, it is easier for you to keep the thread straight. It is also possible to invite certain participants specifically to individual agenda items.
2. number of participants
No more than ten people should attend your general meetings. In order to make decisions and develop concepts, five to eight participants are considered ideal.
Ask yourself the simple question: If you could invite only three people to this decision meeting, which would they be? The answer to this question is sure to make you more streamlined in your planning process.
3. Meeting duration: short or long?
Most of the time, shorter meetings are more productive than longer ones. However, there are some topics where it makes sense for them to be conducted for a longer period of time, as they are more fruitful then. For example, you might consider holding one longer meeting per quarter instead of shorter weekly or monthly ones.
Do not allow your meeting to become a time killer, but be a role model in leadership; also demand an effective use of time from your employees.
4. The right protocol
No meeting is complete without minutes: a results log, ideally written during the meeting and emailed immediately after the event, briefly summarizes who was present, what actions were agreed upon, and serves as your working record for how productively meeting time was spent.
When it comes to taking minutes, the following types of minutes can be distinguished:
- Memory logs: are written by individual meeting participants as an aid to memory after a meeting, in which aspects and facts that appear important are recorded in order to document the general content of the meeting or individual points that appear important. Short minutes summarize the results in key words and provide the information that makes it possible for a non-participant to understand the context within the event.
- Minutes of results: Summarize the key outcomes of the meeting. In particular, decisions made and work assignments are recorded. The contributions of individual attendees are not marked. The outcome of the meeting is the collective result of the whole group. It is therefore not apparent how the respective results came about. The objective here is to effectively record and keep track of work assignments in terms of who does what with whom and by when. This is the most common type of business protocol.
- At detailed minutes of the results: also record the paths to decision-making and important expressions of opinion and contributions. Verbatim quotes and indirect speech are marked as such.
- A Progress Log: Reflects the entire course of the event. All argumentative points of view and opinions are captured. Decisions are quoted in the wording. The exact path to joint decisions and still existing reservations of individual participants can be read clearly documented. In the verbatim record, speeches are delivered verbatim. It can be, for example, transcripts of tape recordings. Speeches are identified by name.
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