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How to chair effective meetings

Running an effective meeting can be extremely difficult and challenging. Meetings are important as they provide middle and lower-level management with an opportunity to address issues and make suggestions to upper management. When it comes to chairing a meeting, there are several things that should be considered.

Set goals and objectives

Setting goals and objectives is the first and foremost step in chairing an effective meeting. Determine exactly the things that you want to achieve and accomplish after the meeting. State the reason and the basis of your meeting. Similarly, it is also essential that you, as chairman, set meeting rules, agenda and meeting time-lines.

Explain your agenda in advance and distribute source documents

When chairing a management meeting, it is imperative that you explain your agenda in advance. State directly the things that you want to be approved and the decisions that are in favour of. Prioritising certain items and issues can also help you to save precious minutes of the meeting. Preparing and distributing source documents is also ideal as doing so will help participants to better understand and study the talking points of certain items and issues.

Encourage everyone to talk

Meetings are conducted in order to generate feedback and suggestions. Hence, it is necessary that everyone who attends the meeting gives his/her own ideas and point of view. As a chairman, you must encourage everyone to talk, even those with dissenting opinions. Welcome new perspectives and possible amendments to certain items and issues. Remember that meetings should not be dominated by one or two speakers.

Address items and issues that weren't resolved

Effective meetings do not always end with all issues resolved. It is quite often that several items and issues are left untouched or remain undecided. When such stalemate arises, it is important that the chairman addresses that such items and issues weren't resolved so that they will be prioritised during the management's next meeting.

Summarise the decisions made and the issues addressed

At the end of every meeting, the chairman must summarise the decisions made and the issues addressed during the said meeting. You should ensure that everyone who attended the meeting has understood it and has a clearer and more vivid overview of what transpired during the meeting. It is also necessary that you put in writing, the actions and decisions made during the meeting.

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