Maximize the Results of Your Business Leadership Meetings

leadershipmeeting“Always go into meetings or negotiations with a positive attitude. Tell yourself you’re going to make this the best deal for all parties.”

—Tom Wujec

Leadership business meetings are important for helping a team to work together to solve problems, stay informed, provide feedback, and ask questions. But to make the most out of meetings, we must make sure that they are well-organized and add significant value for the participants who are attending. Here are some tips to ensure that the time in meetings is well-spent to create a cohesive and highly engaged leadership team that drives business success.

1. Create an Effective Meeting Culture
As a leader, you set an example for how meetings will function and form the culture of your meetings. By being on time, well-prepared, results-driven and engaging, you will encourage others to be the same. Encourage open communication that welcomes questions and debate to get improvement from everyone. A vibrant and cohesive team that promotes cooperation, respect, integrity and comradery, and involves all groups will be most productive.

2. Make the Meeting for The Whole Leadership Team
To get everyone involved and feeling empowered, create the meeting for the entire team, not just for one senior person and their agenda. Otherwise, if the senior person is not available or is late, the meeting will not be as productive and will not be a valuable investment of the leadership team’s time. Also, encourage participation by having each team member submit items for the agenda and ensure that notes are taken in the meeting to be reviewed by those that are in the meeting and others who were not in the meeting.

3. Invite Others to the Meeting
Allow others from a different business function or guest speakers to attend the meeting. This can provide new insights and ideas to the leadership team, help ensure that all business functions are represented, and help to build the leadership skills of aspiring leaders.

4. Be Mindful of Everyone’s Time
Set a start and end time for the meeting and make sure that the meeting is relevant for the attendees and gives them valuable information. Manage the length of time that each topic is discussed to avoid too much time being spent on any one topic. If a topic is not relevant to most of the attendees or if it needs more discussion than there is time for in the meeting, it is better to have a separate discussion about it outside of the meeting.

5. Be Prompt and Engaged
To avoid delays that may be caused by other commitments, schedule business leadership meetings for the start of a day. Begin the meeting on time and stay focused, avoiding interruptions such as checking messages on your phone. Arrive to the meeting at least five minutes early to make sure everything is prepared and to greet attendees.

6. Record Decisions and Action Items
Summarize the meeting and actions that will be taken and share it with the next layer of management or more broadly with other members of the organization, if appropriate. Receiving news form management can help to raise people’s connection with and confidence in the leadership team.

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