We will take a look at the agenda for a business meeting. This is the key to an efficient meeting and if badly considered becomes, not only a significant demotivator, but can waste a lot of time.
The meeting agenda:
To start with, you will only need an agenda if a meeting happens. It is simple to begin creating an agenda for a meeting in advance.
The agenda will be circulated at some time to those invited. Mainly for the initial meeting, to fulfill the meeting objectives, make the team as small as required. For regular official meetings the list of attendees should be consistent but could be different for further meetings.
Many meetings should adhere to a similar style, so employ a template. Features of the agenda might be the following:
Time of the item…
This is the beginning of the agenda item but it may also indicate the duration of the item. This would naturally go into the next item start time. This enables everybody to identify the length of time allotted to the item on the agenda and allows the chairperson to encourage attendees to keep to it.
The time in the agenda should permit an introduction and a review of the discussion at the finish, say 5 minutes in total.
It should be included after dialogue and gaining the leader’s (see below) agreement, before producing the agenda. The length of the item should be agreed. Furthermore, the chairperson might ascertain from the leader if there are any expected results that may emerge from the presentation.
This component ought to describe the purpose for incorporating the agenda item and possibly any expected conclusions. This will help concentrate awareness on the major issue and should encourage people to consider it more ahead of the meeting. It enables the chairperson to keep the dialogues on track.
Allowing individuals to reflect more on every item, by illustrating it in this manner, will help to secure added contribution from a broader region than merely from the department of the discussion leader.
The topic leader…
This establishes the person who will guide the discussion of this particular agenda item. The leader has a duty in presenting the argument and defining any conclusion in a summary at the end.
This is an opportunity to determine anything that should be performed before the meeting in support of the agenda item. This is for all attendees and not just for the leader of the dialogue.
Apart from forearming people, and enabling them to effectively contribute in the meeting, it can help to speed up the discussion and thus achieve the outputs for the agenda item more speedily. This can save considerable time and decrease blank and uninterested faces at meetings.
Hence, headings for the agenda template might be ‘time, item topic, purpose, leader and preparation’.
You might want to add additional items to the business meeting agenda apart from the main points for discussion. For example, ‘an introduction’ which could be used to suggest any specific problems but also to reiterate areas of the meeting policy.
You could like to end the meeting with ‘any additional business’. This enables the highlighting of any impromptu concerns but significantly offers a point for the chairperson to thank the attendees for their contribution to the discussions and to agree the date of the next meeting.
If you must send a replacement, make certain that the chairperson realises it. Offer a justification for your absence and identify any concerns that this action might incur.
If you are unable to turn up, can you present the required data to the chairperson in person? This will guard against using up the time of another person. The chairperson can then introduce the results of the dialogue in the slot for the agenda item.
Make certain that you get a distributed agenda in lots of time to consider additional items in addition to your own.
If you must leave the meeting at a specific time notify the chairperson, who may tell the meeting at the outset, just in case it could influence the presentation of a separate item.
It is just as much the responsibility of the leader of the dialogue to retain focus as the chairperson, particularly when faced with questions that could be wandering from the item purpose. Protracted discussions might be more effectively served by continuing them outside of the meeting.
The leader ought to complete the talk by summing up and spelling out the main points.
When, as an attendee, you are not happy with the format of the meeting, take it up with the chairperson external to the meeting. Don’t disrupt a meeting on a personal campaign.
If you turn up at a meeting go equipped and primed to contribute, and not just on your own agenda topic.