The pandemic draws many to constantly attend executive meetings. Executive meetings are crafted to produce results. Meetings should be organized so that the focus is on an expected end rather than devolving into some status updates. Executive meetings are a great opportunity to strengthen the bond of your leadership team, pull the team members together to discuss ideas and plans, and solve mission-critical problems together interactively facing the business. With the agenda jam-packed, and the time is limited for discussion; heated agenda can surface without a resolution. It is then better to create an executive meeting format or guide that works like autopilot to automatically switch to a better result, rather than making the executive team feel tired and deflated. The format of the executive meetings should work well even if the audience changes, as you scale, and the leadership team grows. Some strategies below are important guides to running executive meetings.
The agenda is important and should be set. The agenda sets the purpose and the course of the executive meeting. Executives’ time is valuable, so they should seat a clear and concise agenda inside a meeting. It answers the five W’s and one H; Why we are in the meeting, who are the people involved, what is the purpose and what needs to be done, when is the time to materialize it (Is there a timeframe?), where it is done, and how it can be done. The agenda is the compass in the executive discussion. It is important to state this information in the agenda so that the discussion is targeted rather than discussing people or events in the executive meetings, which is a waste of time for executives. If other matters need to be discussed, they should be included in the agenda.
Be clear when to start and end the meeting. Executives should be aware that you can start on time and end on time. In this case, discussions should not be dragged far away from the topic. Also, there is nothing so tiring as waiting for the people to show up in the meeting. It is a bad habit for people to keep their team members waiting for them in the meeting. Others find it a small thrill, but others think of it as an irresponsible habit for members. It should be a reminder for everyone else that time for executives is precious so, having irresponsible people attend the meeting is a BIG No!
Let them speak. If someone is running a meeting, once the agenda is clear, then it is time to be quiet. Let the executives speak. If you give them your thoughts first, then they will agree with you, and you will see them nodding their heads. Giving them your ideas means that you are giving them a conclusion, which means that there is no point in the discussion. So, you should hear them first before you will give them your ideas.
Manage personalities while allowing everyone to contribute to the discussion. Others want to dominate the discussion; few are hanging back and silent. Others want to volunteer ideas, others criticize. Few are reluctant to give opinions beyond their expertise; others give opinions they are not so experienced with. These are the few opposites in the meeting that need to be managed correctly while allowing them to contribute their ideas. It is better to allow everyone to share 2 to 3 minutes of their thoughts.
Provide and end with an action plan. Allow time for an action plan. This is a time that allows executives to be assigned to what. It also set when the deadlines are. What is expected to achieve is necessary. If you have no action plan, then the time spent on the meeting will be naught.
Mentioned previously are a few strategic guides for an executive meeting. There is no such thing as a perfect executive meeting, but the guides above will help achieve an effective executive meeting.