How to Make Your Meetings Most Effective

You work hard at reminding people to come to your meetings and it doesn’t seem to work. No matter how much you stress the importance, it just doesn’t seem like a priority. You get angry.

You want people to come to your meetings. There is much to discuss and work out, but people just won’t commit. The problem is you are forgetting a few important details. If you want your meetings to be effective, then you need to remember that:

YOU ARE ASKING FOR PEOPLE’S TIME

Unlike money, when you lose time you cannot get it back. When you ask people to attend a meeting, you are asking them for something precious. Do not waste their time.

That means making sure your meetings have a purpose. Before asking people to come, know:

  • Why you want them there.
  • What you hope to accomplish.

When people see that you are not wasting their time, they’ll be more likely to commit and engage.

PEOPLE INVOLVED ARE PEOPLE ENGAGED

No one wants to come to a meeting where they hear a lecture. Involve the participants in your meeting by giving them an opportunity to share, ask questions and reflect.

If you are afraid of dominating the meeting, then ask someone else to moderate. When people feel like their participation is valued, they will bring the meeting to a new level.

TENSION IS OK

Tension in a meeting feels messy. And while it is messy, it’s also very healthy. Tension is where people are challenged and held accountable.

Allow participants to disagree. If a bad idea is shared, it’s OK to say it’s a bad idea. Just make sure it’s done gracefully. If you allow tension, you allow growth.

THE TAKEAWAY IS CLEAR

At the end of the meeting, not everyone will agree, but everyone should be clear. This will lead to healthy communication to the rest of the team. It will also create a higher success rate in accomplishing tasks.

GOD NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED

Open with prayer and close in prayer. You need God to bless your conversations and guide you to make decisions. If you don’t allow Him into your meetings, all you’ll find is frustration.

Next time you plan your meeting, remember that others are involved. Their time, thoughts and feelings need to be taken into consideration. Better meetings will lead to a more efficient work environment.  

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Chris Wesley
Chris graduated from Xavier University in 2003 with a BA in Communications: Electronic Media. He moved to Baltimore in the fall of 2003 where he served as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year. During that time, he was a Case Manager at Chase Brexton, met my wife Kate and felt God's calling to Student Ministry. In the summer of 2004, heI was hired by the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as a Middle School Youth Minister. Today he oversees grades 5-12 as the Director of Student Ministry.