Over the years, I’ve learned some lessons about the importance of creating agendas. Whether you’ve scheduled a half hour call or a two hour meeting, agendas are vitally important for setting priorities, keeping everyone on track, and maximizing meeting participants’ time. Even an introductory “meet and greet” session can benefit from mapping out goals and priorities in advance. Here are some quick tips for developing effective agendas while still allowing for flexibility and brainstorming to take place:
• Designate someone (preferably on your team) to take the lead in starting the agenda; circulate a draft via Google shared docs (or the equivalent) so that all meeting participants have access to add their items. This establishes a “same page” mindset and allows everyone a preliminary understanding of each other’s goals.
• Prioritize most important items first: Have a method to your list.
• If an agenda feels too formal for an introductory meeting, hold a preparatory session with your internal team and determine what the goals are of the upcoming meeting: Ask yourself and your team: What do I / we want to accomplish from this meeting? What is the best case scenario? Worst case scenario? Middle of the road outcome?
• Prepare for next steps depending on which scenario unfolds and determine in advance how you want to react to each outcome.
• Allow yourself to be open and have fun!
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