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  • Meeting Protocol Lessons

    meeting protocol

    Do you ever make any of these blunders while facilitating meetings? Keep these meeting protocol principles in mind the next time you have to lead a meeting. Not only will they help you succeed as a leader, but your team will thank you as well.

    Leaders that are successful try to assemble high-performing teams. However, it might sometimes feel as if disorganized, sloppy meetings are getting in the way. Most meetings are inefficient and wasteful according to 71 percent of senior managers in a poll done by the Harvard Business Review.

    You can improve your team’s culture and foster better decision-making and active discussions through proper meeting protocol. This is done by changing the way your organization conducts meetings.

    Simply follow these meeting protocol guides when organizing your meetings:

    1. Time is Precious. Make Every Minute Count

    Rather than sticking to a time period for your meeting, decide ahead of time how long a meeting should go using the things you need to get done as the guide. Therefore, schedule a meeting for 10 minutes if a decision can be made in that time.

    Therefore, suppose the meeting that starts at 9 is routinely set to go until 9:30, even if you only actually need 10 minutes to make a decision. This is like the bigger-home syndrome: you buy a bigger house and you somehow manage to fill it with furnishings despite the fact that you didn’t need the extra room.

    Wasting time with long, rambling meetings can stymie your employees’ productivity. This, in turn, will cost your company money and more time. Therefore, allow the meeting to happen through email if possible. If the meeting is only for a few team members, then only give the invitation to those people. This saves everyone’s time.

    2. Always Come to Meetings with Your Best Preparation

    As the old adage goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. This is especially true when it comes to scheduling meetings for your staff.

    Meeting preparation is essential to its success. This is because it guarantees that everyone gets the most out of their time together. In addition, it helps everyone to be able to make better decisions.

    One of the top three reasons meetings fail, according to 31% of respondents, is because of poor leadership. Therefore, creating the agenda in advance and jotting down your questions is a great way to keep the meeting protocol intact. In addition,  starting discussions via a collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams before the meeting is another example of effective meeting preparation.

    One of the best ways to improve meetings is to prepare for them. Therefore, meeting leaders will be amazed by the increase in involvement in their meetings if they can focus on achieving that change.

    3. Good Meeting Protocol: Collaborate and Orchestrate

    The worst-case scenario in a meeting is when attendees come with collaboration ideas only to be bulldozed by a powerful leader or speaker. Good protocol means that you only invite people to the meeting if they are going to make or help to make a decision. This implies that they must be heard.

    Good leaders facilitate good talks by encouraging everyone to speak. They start by inviting quieter people to weigh in. In addition, they refrain from interrupting. Leaders can do this by employing meeting management software. The software can assign speaker slots. In addition, it will track their time so that everyone has an equal chance to speak.

    As the discussion begins, try to develop a stewardship mindset by asking questions and engaging people. As the leader models active listening and elicits concern everyone can share and learn. Good protocol means that the leader is facilitating the discussion and perhaps resolving disagreements.

    Of course, leaders will need to express their own thoughts in order to move the discussion along at times. However, recognizing that you’re mostly performing a supportive role is crucial to good facilitation.

    4. Set up a system of accountability for the meeting.

    With 40% of survey respondents citing unclear commitments, choices, or next steps as one of the top three reasons meetings fail, leaders should reconsider their meeting protocol. Therefore, they should concentrate on making group decisions. In addition, they can create an environment in which these decisions may be made. After that, they can call for clear actions to be done following the meeting.

    This entails writing agendas with specific goals. Furthermore, when it comes to action items or next steps, be precise. A decision isn’t a decision if it never comes to fruition. Therefore, make sure you know who, what, and when you’re making a choice. In addition, never leave a meeting with ambiguous accountability.

    Conclusions

    When individuals work together toward a common objective and can count on one other to keep their promises, they form great working connections. Good meeting protocol means that high-performing teams can focus on meaningful goals and tangible achievements.

    Wise leaders lay the foundation for a strong team culture as well as a strong meeting culture.

    Image Credit: Pavul Danilyak; Pexels; Thank You!

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