Decide the purpose of the meeting and make sure everyone knows what it is in advance.
Letting others know why you are meeting allows them to get prepared. This will help to produce better meetings. Attendees will have had time to organize their thoughts and be ready with ideas and suggestions.
I have attended many client meetings where I asked people why they were there. Often they did not know.
To have effective meetings, it is essential that people are prepared. But they cannot get ready for the meeting if they don’t know why they are meeting.
Here are typical meeting purposes:
“We will be Planning a work schedule for the new __________ project.”
Dialogue (no decisions)“We will use Dialogue to discuss the pending reorganizations of our three departments. No decisions will be made at this meeting.”
“We will use Problem-solving to recommend actions that will keep us focused on customer service while we move to new offices.”
“We will use Decision-making to finalize our work on the planned reorganization.”
“Our purpose is to report on the current status of our reorganization.”
Sometimes there are different purposes for different parts of the meeting. Making sure that everyone knows the purpose of each agenda item help keeps people focused. You will get more accomplished in a shorter time.