There’s no magic formula for creating an effective agenda. The basic rule is that you NEED ONE.
Here are some simple ideas to help you create a workable agenda for your next meeting:
#1) Send the agenda out to your team before you meet. This helps them know what to expect.
#2) Give team members an opportunity to put something on the agenda. Ask them ahead of time.
#3) As the leader, determine the goal of the meeting. Is it:
– To share reports about what each team member is doing
– To deal with a crisis or a pressing issue
– To clarify goals, values and purpose
– To evaluate something that we just did
– To plan an event, program or focus
Realize that you probably can’t accomplish all of this in one meeting. Figure out what you need to do and what you don’t need to do. Example: Sometimes reports can simply be sent out. Evaluations can be sent out and written, then summarized.
#4) Figure out where you’re going to meet. Consider distractions, comfort and convenience. Offsite meetings are often much more productive than when you’re sitting in the office.
#5) Take time to build relationship with your team. Don’t just “work” together. Take the time to share with each other, to encourage each other, to affirm each other. When this is done, they engage better.
#6) If you finish the agenda, close the meeting, even if there’s still time left. People appreciate this. Don’t feel that you need to “fill time”.
#7) Hold people accountable:
– To being on time
– To being prepared
– To being engaged
– To speaking the truth
– To not dominating the conversation
Don’t let them get away with any of these things. It’s contagious!
#8) Create a list of action points. What did you decide, who will drive this, when is it due. Don’t end the meeting without taking the time to do this, otherwise it’s a waste of time. Again, this comes back to the purpose of your meeting.
As the leader, planning an effective meeting and creating an agenda takes time. If you put the time into it, your meeting will most likely meet your goal. Don’t sabotage your meeting before it starts. Be prepared.
Lastly, if you can’t identify a goal for your meeting, then don’t meet! The last thing your team needs is a meeting with no purpose.