wikiHow to Lead a Successful Meeting

In today's business settings, the most common form of communication between coworkers is through email. However, that doesn't mean that meetings have been phased out. In fact, business meetings are very important when you need to discuss matters quickly and efficiently with multiple people. Unfortunately, meetings can be inefficient and a waste of time if they lack the necessary planning or if they are executed improperly. If you want to know how to lead a successful meeting, then you will need to put time into proper meeting preparation.


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    Set a date for the meeting. Never encroach upon the group members' personal times when setting a meeting date unless it is absolutely necessary or unavoidable. If members need to cancel their plans in order to make your meeting, they may end up harboring feelings of resentment. Pick a date that falls on a regular business day and make sure to give your group members a notice a few days ahead of time.
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    Set a time slot for the meeting. Your meetings should have an appointed starting time, an appointed ending time, and you should avoid overstepping these boundaries out of respect for the meeting members. Time is the most important factor when planning a meeting, as it gives you a foundation for planning the rest of the meeting details.
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    Stick to the agenda. Don't get sidetracked trying to deal with off-topic gripes and grievances.
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    Set an ultimate goal for the meeting. Meetings that don't have a set target goal will inevitable meander through many topics--often unrelated--and that may result in confused and bored members. If you don't have an ultimate goal, then there is a good chance that calling a meeting is unnecessary.
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    Focus on the positives in a meeting. You can ensure a successful group meeting by praising in public and criticizing in private. Public criticism tends to reduce overall group morale and can even cause rivalries or competition to form within the group. Instead, discuss the good things during a meeting and save the bad things for private 1-on-1 meetings.
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    Avoid peer pressure. Group meetings are sometimes used to rally members of the group to agree on a certain decision. However, you should avoid doing this as it will reflect negatively on you, the leader. Excess peer pressure will also cause dissonance among the group.
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    Separate personal and business matters. It's not uncommon for coworkers to become friends with other coworkers, but these friendships and relationships should temporarily be set aside during a meeting. Bias and favoritism will quickly dissolve a meeting's integrity, and group camaraderie may be damaged.
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    Remember that you are a leader, but not necessarily a dictator. For long-term success over multiple meetings, you want people to participate and speak up when appropriate. If you always override someone's suggestions or comments, over time they will find it futile and will cease speaking their mind. Allow people to be open and do your best to take their thoughts into consideration.


  • If the meeting is lengthy, employees will appreciate a short break to stretch their legs or visit the restroom.

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Categories: Leadership and Mentoring | Meetings