Tips for Leading a Better Meeting

Time for a coffee break

Meetings get a bad rep, but they can be very advantageous to your organization. When your meetings are swift and expedient, it’ll trickle down to better results outside the meeting; increasing productivity, encouraging autonomy, and increasing accountability. Remember, your team’s time is worth money for your organization, and you want to use it as efficiently as possible so they can get back to doing what you’re paying them for.

So don’t schedule a meeting unless it truly makes sense! When it does make sense, and you’re leading it, these are some ways to make sure that the meeting is driving success for your organization and team:


Value their time.

Don’t just have a meeting for unimportant updates, it’s a waste of everyone’s time and ideally you’re close enough to the action to know what’s going on already. Meetings should have a purpose, usually it’s to solve a problem, or enable or introduce an opportunity. And make sure to schedule it at a time that doesn’t interrupt their work flow – there’s tremendous productivity that results once they get in the groove.


Set the agenda in advance.

Once you determine the purpose of the meeting, set the agenda. If you want anyone to participate or speak during the meeting, let them know in advance so they may be prepared. Even if you just want someone to contribute their opinion, give them a quick heads-up that you want their thoughts during the discussion. This will also help move things along so that you can wrap it up efficiently.


Follow your agenda.

Once you determine the purpose of the meeting, set the agenda. Share it with the attendees at the beginning of the meeting, whether that’s in printed form or verbally. Be clear on the reason for the meeting, and focus the discussions on the agenda to keep you on track. Make sure your participants and attendees are focused on it too.


Make Decisions.

Your goal should be to make decisions in the meeting as quickly as possible. Determine in advance what decisions you want to make from the meeting, so that you can check in with yourself and make sure you’re moving towards making them. This can include agenda items, but it can also include other things that you’re considering, such as whether someone on the team is ready for a promotion, what their attitude is, or how much help do they need on a project. Evaluate your decisions after the meeting as well!


Get their input.

Great leaders always make their team feel like they’re part of the decision process. Your team will work more enthusiastically when they’ve made a contribution, so make it a habit to get their feedback and recommendations. That doesn’t mean you need to do everything they suggest, but just listening to their ideas will go a long way to getting their support later.


Don’t give your opinion.

Leaders think they need to appear that they are sure about everything. But in reality, people want to be able to express their views in a more welcoming and open environment. When you’re leading a meeting and want input and feedback from your team, you’re not going to get it if you state your opinion at the start. By offering your point of view up front, they’ll feel reluctant to provide their new, and possibly differing, ideas. You’ll get more of their real authentic thoughts if you listen to them first.


Consider Daily Check-ins.

Construction projects may actually warrant shorter daily meetings, especially if you have something to communicate to the entire team regularly. They’re a great opportunity to remind the team of deadlines and go over any changes. It’s also the perfect time to discuss safety issues, or anything else that is pertinent to the project at hand. This also gets the team accustomed to quicker, more useful, meetings.


As a leader, it’s up to you to make sure that the meetings are beneficial to all involved. If you’re looking for more craftsmen to contribute at future projects (and meetings!), Madden Industrial Staffing is here to help you find the talent you need. Give Madden a call today!