How to plan your meeting
Start by thinking about what you’re meeting for and prepare a list of roles. This way, you can provide clarity and an overall structure for the anticipated gathering. You can also assign roles to the participants to streamline the process. Create an agenda to follow so you stay on the key topics at hand.
Once you have everyone together, decide who will chair the meeting if it’s not you. Ensure that they have the agenda, stick to it and allow everyone the chance to speak. It’s important to hear all the voices in the room. Also, if there are areas where someone else in the room is going to lead, for instance, the head of a department with more insight about the topic, make sure the chair knows this.
Sometimes it can be helpful to start with an ice-breaker or something to help everyone feel at ease. Even just a few minutes to chat and catch up with colleagues can people feel more comfortable about contributing - especially if it’s a large meeting.
Make sure the agenda is arranged by priority so nothing important gets missed. Start at the top and work your way through. If something feels like it’s going to take too long, recommend moving it to a follow-up where it can be discussed in more detail.
As the meeting wraps up, take note of any follow-ups or action points and arrange to discuss them with the relevant people.
After the meeting, ask for feedback so you can continually improve the structure of your monthly meetings and get the most out of them.
You can also make room to discuss any updates, like the direction you’re going in (best to start with a positive note – we’re glad we’ve achieved this much so far, but there’s more to be done).