11 Laws of Having a Meeting (#’s 1-5)

A Great Time to Build

The second half of January and into February is a great time to build your teams. (You can read more about that here) Many people are thinking of having a team meeting for the first time. We’ve all been invited to meetings we dread. We contemplate every excuse we can think of to not go. But, it doesn’t have to be like that. So, I thought I’d share 11 essential parts (laws) to a holding a great meeting I’ve learned over the years. (I’m still learning, so please add your own add-ons below.)

Before you set the meeting

1. Know WHY you’re having a meeting. You should never have a meeting just to have a meeting. Have a purpose. What does your team NEED?

Setting a meeting

2. Find your CORE. This is essential. Before you set any meeting (work, social, family, anything), check with 2-3 essential people to make sure they can attend. Once they’re good, invite everyone else to the meeting. If the time’s not good with them, there’s a good chance it’s not good for others. To read more, check out this article.

 3. The BIGGER the group the less you should CHANGE. If your team consists of 2-3 people then you can communicate possible changes via simple text messages. But, once you get beyond 5-6, you should strive towards consistency. When you set a meeting, you’re creating a trust. The people on your team will set aside their time and trust that meeting will take place. Any time you then change time/location, or cancel, you break a small amount of that trust. If this happens a few times, your team will stop setting aside their time for the meeting because they can’t “trust” it will happen.

 4. REMIND people. In our busy lives, it’s so easy to forget meetings. I try to remind people two weeks out, one week out, sometimes a few days out, and then the day of the meeting. It may be overkill, but most people will be thankful for the reminders.

5. Be PRECISE. In your e-mails and communications, you need to be brief. Write only essential information. Use bullet points if possible. Opening an e-mail is also an act of trust. If I take the time to open an e-mail from you, I trust that it will quickly give me the info I need without wasting my time. Every time you write long e-mails, you waste another person’s time and break some trust. Write a few long e-mails with non-essential information and pretty soon people will ignore your e-mails all together. Try putting essential information in bold or in a different color.

 How does this information affect how you’ll plan your next meeting?