Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12:11
Good Morning! For me this is Wednesday go to meeting day! All the meetings I’m attending today are important, but one of the meetings is of particular importance to me. So, this morning I was up and preparing early.
So, what do you do when you want to ensure success at your meeting? I have a few tips to help ensure a successful meeting, whether it is at church or in the workplace.
- Pray. Before you start preparing ask God to help you know what you need to do and to guide you toward the best outcome. If you have had a bad experience in the past, this is the time to let that go. It’s a new day.
- It’s Not About You! Also it is important to remember this meeting is not about you. It’s about what’s on the agenda. So, don’t get caught up in a desire to be remembered for the meeting. Your heavenly reward will be so much better anyway!
- Make sure the meeting is really needed. There is nothing worse than sitting in a meeting knowing you have things to do when everything could have been resolved in a short personal conversation, email or text.
- Review the attendees. It’s important to make sure the right people are attending, but make sure you don’t invite too many because it may be difficult to get anything accomplished.
- Prepare an agenda with a timeline. It’s good to have an agenda to keep attendees on track and ensure all important points are covered. Don’t include too many items. It’s better to have a follow-up meeting than a meeting that lasts too long. Also, an agenda informs the attendees of what the meeting is about and what direction it needs to go.
- Have a sign-in sheet. The sign-in sheet provides attendance information, but that is where I like to collect additional contact information, and availability.
- Start on time. While I can understand not wanting to go back and explain what someone has missed, don’t hold up the meeting because someone is running late. It’s disrespectful to those who have given up time out of their schedule to attend. If you are attending a meeting and you’re late, apologize. Unfortunately, starting a meeting with a prayer is not always an option. If it is, by all means do it. If not, you can always say a silent prayer whether you are the leader or an attendee. I’m thankful that in my area, prayer is usually welcomed.
- Facilitate. Encourage participation and monitor contributions to the discussion, while keeping the meeting moving. If someone brings up a point that is not on the agenda. Simply explain that their point is good, but it should be addressed at a future meeting.
- Take notes. In many meetings it is not necessary to write down what every person says. Instead, it is helpful is to jot down important points, task assignments, and future meeting dates. If you need to remember what every person says, bring a recording device.
- End on time with a plan. Toward the end of the meeting, make sure everyone knows why they were at the meeting and the direction they need to go. Ensure the meeting doesn’t go over time. It is better to plan a follow-up meeting. Ensure any follow-up meetings are scheduled before attendees leave.
- Follow-up after the meeting. I like to send an email restating what has taken place, or a summary of discussions and decisions. More formal meetings might have minutes. This helps refresh the attendees’ memories. When you have several meetings in one day, it may be difficult to remember everything that happened at one particular meeting. An added bonus is you can restate when and where the next meeting will take place.
- If the meeting did not seem to go the direction you wanted, remember that God has a bigger plan and you asked for His guidance. I’ve prayed about situations before and it seemed like God didn’t answer my prayers. Later, I found out He did. So, have faith and trust.
Well, I’d better get busy! If you are involved in planning or participating in meetings, I hope these tips will help you. God bless you.