Meetings are important because they give members a chance to discuss the group’s goals. They keep the group cohesive and on the same track, and allow for decision-making.
In planning your meetings, keep the following in mind:
- Have a purpose for your meeting. Be aware of your reason for calling the meeting, and make this clear to all other attendees.
- Prepare an agenda and stick to it. Attendees will appreciate it if you organize a list of items to discuss and maintain that focus throughout the meeting. You may want to even print copies of the agenda for your attendees.
- Be aware of the time. By monitoring the time and making sure that your meeting doesn’t run longer than planned, you are being courteous to the other attendees, who are likely as busy as you!
- Take the lead. Listen carefully and facilitate productive and positive participation by all members. Others will follow your example.
- Take notes. Designate someone at each meeting to take minutes and keep tabs on all topics that arise for future reference.
- Review commitments, tasks and next steps. It doesn’t hurt to review so everyone clearly understands their responsibilities.
- Set the next meeting time. Make sure that in your plans you include a chance to discuss when to meet next. It’s the easiest time to do it!