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How to Create Effective Meetings

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

I was recently asked what my facilitation tips are for running an effective meeting and realised that a lot of preparation happens to ensure my meetings run smoothly.

In Business of Healthcare Episode #139 I walk through my meeting planning and tips. In this blog, I have summarised the key points and created a checklist for you to follow that is perfect for your meeting administrators and the meeting chair.

1. Take Care of Your Basic Needs

  • Eat/drink so you are focused

  • Ensure you are comfortable

  • Take a comfort break before your meeting starts

This seems obvious but we are all so busy and can be rushing between tasks and meetings.

2. Creating your meeting outline

  • What is the purpose of your meeting?

  • Why do you want to meet and who needs to be there?

  • What information can be shared outside of the meeting (how needed is the meeting and at what frequency?)

  • Who will be responsible for taking actions?

  • Are you clear on your decision-making principles?

  • Invite a diversity of roles - do you need a mix of Clinicians, Admin and Managerial Staff?

3. Create an Agenda

  • Decide the points that need to be discussed or shared in the meeting

  • Communicate the purpose and desired outcome of the meeting to ensure attendees know why they are there

  • At what point will you communicate your agenda i.e. in advance, in the meeting?

  • Set a timeframe and if you know that meetings can stray off course, set an expectation of time for each point on your agenda

4. Inviting Attendees/Stakeholders

  • Keep your meeting invite clear and succinct

  • Is it clear what you expect from your meeting stakeholders and how they can contribute?

  • Sometimes it can be helpful to speak to people ahead of the meeting to ensure you are ready to receive any curveballs that could derail your agenda or meeting purpose

  • Create a welcoming, positive and inclusive tone for your meeting so that people come prepared and comfortable to contribute

  • Send a reminder email the week before and a day before the meeting so that people know and are aware of when it's happening

5. Decision-Making Principles

  • Make sure everyone is prepared to back decisions made, even when they aren't their own

  • The role of the meeting chair is to hear all sides of the case and then drive forward that decision

  • Manage expectations. It's hard to please everyone which is why you need to think carefully about how you will come to decisions as a team

6. Which Meeting Platforms to Use for Meetings?

  • Decide which platform you'll use to meet if meeting virtually or even part-virtually

  • What tech can you use to make the organisation of the meeting easier? We use Calendly and Doodle Poll.

  • Send an email the week before and a day before the meeting so that people know and are of when it's happening

Final thoughts

Meetings can actually be really fun and they don't have to be the standard hour. Just the other week we had a 5-minute huddle. We simply reflected and shared the highlights of our week. Being virtually based, it was an opportunity to meet in an informal but productive way.

When you get the fundamentals to effective meetings right, they can be really productive. There's room to have light-hearted conversations and room to really make some important decisions where you have got all the players in the room that you need.

Listen to the podcast How to Create Effective Meetings.

If you like this blog, you may like Top Tips to Effectively Manage Negativity In a Meeting

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