Many ministry tasks can be accomplished without meetings. In general, the fewer meetings the better. But sometimes you have to have them. And when you do, effective meetings accomplish what they are supposed to accomplish. Here are a few tips for holding effective meetings:
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8 Tips for Effective Meetings
1. Keep the end in mind
Decide on the purpose of the meeting before you plan or schedule it. Is the purpose to inform? To decide? To discuss? What do you hope to walk away with from the meeting? Your purpose for the meeting informs your agenda.
2. Set clear goals
After the meeting is over, how will you know whether or not it was successful?
3. Announce the agenda
Plan the agenda ahead of time and give it to the people who will be there. Taking this step allows them to mentally prepare for what the meeting is and is not about. If there’s something they need to do or read beforehand, make it clear that they are expected to do it.
4. Don’t save the best for last
When you structure a meeting agenda with more than one item on it, always put the items in order of importance. By putting the most important items first, you ensure that you don’t run out of time to deal with those issues.
5. Timing is everything
When you write up the meeting agenda, put an estimate next to each item for how long you expect it to take.
6. Prioritize people
Allow time for relational connection at the beginning of the meeting. Check in to see how people are, hear updates from team members, and pray for one another. Budget a set amount of time for this stage of the meeting.
7. Identify next steps
Create clear action points, along with who is responsible for completing them, as takeaways from the meeting.
8. Sync your calendars
Designate a clear follow up plan—along with a date—and let everyone know what is expected. Then follow up.
One of the best books I’ve run across on this topic is Death By Meeting by Patrick Lencioni.
The Leadership Difference– If you are running up against barriers that aren’t specifically theological but are more about how to lead people and get along with them as you work together, this is the book for you.