Conducting Effective Meetings as a Manager – 4 Tips

Conducting Effective Meetings with all hands agreeing

Are Your Managers Good at Conducting Effective Meetings?
Conducting effective meetings is a fundamental management skill that has a direct impact on performance because people spend so much time in meetings.  According to recent research by Bain,

  • Organizations report spending more than 15% of their time in meetings
  • Middle management reports spending at least 35% of their time in meetings
  • Upper management reports spending more than 50% of their time in meetings

Unfortunately, employees from the frontline to the C-Suite complain about ineffective meetings.  8 in 10 executives are dissatisfied with both the efficiency and effectiveness of their company’s meetings and believe that a whopping two-thirds of the meetings they attend are unproductive.  And when you include virtual meetings, the meeting productivity, effectiveness and level of engagement decreases even further.  Conducting effective meetings matters.

Conducting Effective Meetings as a Manager
Something needs to be done to rescue time for employees and give them the opportunity to address their real jobs.  Let’s start with the basics:

1. Ensure Meeting Relevance
While it seems like common sense to only hold or attend meetings that add value, we are consistently surprised by how many meetings take place that should just not happen. You should only hold or attend a meeting when there is a clear and meaningful objective, an agreed-upon agenda, and the right people in the meeting so that you do not detract from time spent on priorities. At a minimum, for a meeting to be relevant, it should have a clearly defined:

  • Purpose: Answers why the meeting has been called, identifies the type of meeting, and is used to decide whether the meeting should be held.
  • Desired Outcome(s): Describes the tangible results that you desire from the meeting.

Done right, improving meeting relevance should drastically pare down the number of meetings to only the most urgent and the most important.

2. Agree Upon the Type of Meeting
In general, there are six types of meetings. Before you hold or attend a meeting, make sure you identify and agree upon the type of meeting.

  • Information Sharing
  • Information Gathering
  • Decision Making
  • Problem Solving
  • Planning
  • Training

Done right, clarity on the type of meeting will set the stage for appropriate outcomes and attendees.

3. Agree upon the Right Participants

Effective meetings look at three types of active meeting participants:

  • Those who are highly affected by the outcome of the meeting
  • Those who could influence the outcome of the meeting
  • Decision makers

Done right, having only the required attendees will save everyone time and frustration.

4. Agree upon the Right Meeting Roles

Effective meetings have four main roles that are played by one or a combination of people.

  • The Leader who is responsible for starting the meeting, participating in the meeting and following up on agreements
  • The Facilitator who facilitates the discussion and clarifies the decision makers and the decision making method but has little or no active meeting participation
  • The Recorder who captures key thoughts but has little or no active meeting participation
  • The Members who participate fully

Done right, having clearly defined roles will improve your meeting process and outcomes.

5. Invest the Time to Prepare

Once the meeting has been deemed necessary and important, pre-work can be an effective meeting strategy to encourage accountability and engagement. In addition to everyone having the objectives, agenda and attendee list ahead of time, we recommend including pre-work if it will help participants to hit the ground running so that the collective time together can be spent on deeper discussions and better decision making.

Done right, pre-work should improve focus and create a greater sense of urgency.

6. Make Meetings Accountable
Just as you are held accountable for your performance on the job, so should meetings be held accountable for holding to their stated purpose and timing. Never end a meeting without documenting what was accomplished, what was agreed to, what the next action steps are, and who is responsible.

Done right, improving accountability will make sure your meetings matter.

The Bottom Line
Conducting effective meetings re-captures the commitment of the attendees and re-gifts them with time that can be much more productively utilized.  You will know you are on the right track when everyone knows why a meeting has been called, there is explicit agreement on the tangible meeting outcomes, everyone is prepared, and action plans and accountabilities are clear.

To learn more about being an effective manager and conducting effective meetings, download 5 Management Misperceptions that Slip Up Too Many New Managers

Comments are closed.

We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.

Janice Passarello
Director of Human Resources

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.

Anita Luckinbill
Director, Human Resources

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance

We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.

Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.

Emily Couey
Director of Human Resources

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

LSA helped change our entire culture around meetings, making them more effective and efficient, thus enabling us to concentrate on driving more business.

Terry Wassman
VP of Human Resources

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More