Most people think of meetings as an event - the time we’re gathered together in a physical or virtual room. But meetings are actually a cycle that consists of three phases - before, during and after. Too often meetings are unproductive due to a lack of proper preparation by both the meeting leader and participants. Yet, by spending a few minutes designing a thoughtful agenda, developing appropriate prework, and communicating clearly with your meeting participants, you can transform the entire meeting experience.
In this episode, I walk through what to do before a meeting to prepare yourself and your colleagues for a productive conversation.
The full episode guide includes my meeting agenda template, tips for writing a desired outcome, and how to design and communicate pre-work. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community or purchase the full guide at www.themodernmanager.com/shop.
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Read the related blog article: How to Prepare Yourself and Others For A Productive Meeting
Preparing yourself and your meeting participants will help create a more productive meeting. The most important element of any meeting is the desired outcome: what will the meeting achieve? The more specific the desired outcome, the easier it will be to plan the agenda and facilitate the conversation to accomplish that goal. Consider what people need to know, what they can think about, or what they can do prior to entering the meeting that will prepare people for a more productive and efficient conversation. Pre-work can be reading or listening to an article, video or podcast, a document, voice or video message. Pre-work can be reflecting on specific questions or generating ideas ahead of time. Pre-work can be completing a worksheet, answering questions, contributing to a shared online document. Sometimes you may need to produce a document, record a voice message or video presentation in order to share important information in the optimal format prior to the meeting. When you assign prework, be sure to include clear instructions that explain (1) why you have assigned this pre-work or how it will help the meeting, (2) what specifically people should do, (3) how long it will take and (4) when it needs to be done by. Share the agenda and pre-work with enough time for meeting participants to review and complete any actions. Additional Resources:
Episode 33: Do You Really Need That Meeting? Book: Momentum: Creating Effective, Engaging, and Enjoyable Meetings email@example.com