Ask most people to describe meetings at work, and they will probably say “boring,” or “worthless.” But, holding a great meeting isn’t unattainable with these tips in mind.

G – Goals for the meeting should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound.   SMART goals are very appropriate for meetings but often not the best approach for people’s goals. People’s goals should be HARD: heartfelt, animated, required, and difficult.

R – Roles and Rules: Roles should be rotated among project team members so that everyone gets an opportunity to show leadership. Make sure to invite someone who is a decision maker.  Ground-rules for discussion should be agreed upon beforehand so the items discussed get accomplished.

E – Expectations should be clearly set.  Your discussions should remain focused on new issues rather than an endless string of updates.

A – Agendas should be distributed in advance.  Include the purpose of the meeting at the top, A good agenda will help keep your meeting on point.

T – Time is money so be sensitive to the team member’s scheduling needs. Keep it brief; begin and end meetings on time.  Don’t hold the weekly staff meeting just because it’s Monday at 9:00 AM.  Cancel the meeting if you can’t think of an actual problem to solve or decision that needs to be made.

Sources: Managing the Project Team, Volume Three, by Vigay K. Verma, Forbes – How to Hold a Great Meeting, Tara Weiss

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