Jean’s definition of a meeting has 8 requirements!
You’ll never waste your time in a meeting again – as long as you satisfy these 8 requirements. But firstly, let’s agree that any meeting needs to have a purpose.
Any person can too easily fall into the ‘meeting habit’… calling or attending a meeting whenever a decision is needed, or a problem or opportunity arises – or whenever another person suggests that ‘we need – or let’s call – a meeting about this’.
Meetings should not be held for the sake of holding meetings!
Time spent in meetings is an investment ONLY when the clear and agreed purpose of the meeting is achieved.
Keeping a check on the number and length of meetings is a major tool in:
- maintaining individual job satisfaction,
- ensuring individual and team effectiveness,
- managing people,
- reducing costs, and
- increasing organisational effectiveness.
People can easily be trapped into thinking that meetings are the best or only way to reach decisions or exchange information. However, meetings take people away from their day‑to‑day duties and interrupt work practices or routines.
Meetings can also impose additional work which may have little or no relevance or benefit to the person’s role in the organisation, be it a paid or unpaid role.
Meeting attendance should be determined by measuring the immediate and practical benefit of attendance. Selective meeting attendance will then be a contributor to the person’s role and function – rather than an interruption.
Where people are willing to give up their private time or to interrupt their day‑to‑day duties, it is easy to ignore the value and importance of time.
Check these 8 Meeting Requirements before scheduling or attending any meeting:
Meeting Requirement No. 1.
Every meeting, no matter how large or small should have a specific purpose and outcome.
Meeting Requirement No. 2.
All people involved with any meeting should be convinced that the meeting is necessary.
Meeting Requirement No. 3.
People whose attendance is necessary for the success of a meeting must be available: everyone should know the purpose, venue, time to start and finish, agenda, procedure and desired outcomes before the meeting.
Meeting Requirement No. 4.
All information required to ensure that the purpose of the meeting will be achieved should be available to attendees in time to be read before the meeting begins.
Meeting Requirement No. 5.
The agenda should be agreed to – and the duration of meeting confirmed – at the start of the meeting. If not already in place, a chairperson and note‑taker (or minute-taker) should be appointed.
Meeting Requirement No. 6.
When any decision is made, it should be noted or minuted clearly and expressed correctly.
Meeting Requirement No. 7.
Each decision should be examined as to ‑
- action/s required,
- any and all costs involved,
- person/s responsible for each action required,
- a deadline for each action, and
- how and when the responsible person/s will report, and to whom.
Meeting Requirement No. 8.
Each person present at a meeting is responsible for the quality of that meeting: this responsibility does not rest solely with the chairperson.