Your choice of structure and style in running an effective meeting is hugely dependent on several factors:
- the situation (circumstances, mood, atmosphere, background, etc)
- the organisational context (the implications and needs of the business or project or organisation)
- the team, or the meeting delegates (the needs and interests of those attending)
- you yourself (your own role, confidence, experience, your personal aims, etc)
- your position and relationship with the team
- and of course the aims of the meeting.
There will always be more than one aim, because aside from the obvious reason(s) for the meeting, all meetings bring with them the need and opportunity to care for and/or to develop people, as individuals and/or as a team.
When you run a meeting you are making demands on people's time and attention. When you run meeting you have an authority to do so, which you must use wisely.
This applies also if the people at the meeting are not your direct reports, and even if they are not a part of your organisation.
Whatever the apparent reason for the meeting, you have a responsibility to manage the meeting so that it is a positive and helpful experience for all who attend.
Having this aim, alongside the specific meeting objective(s), will help you develop an ability and reputation for running effective meetings that people are happy to attend.
Having a good understanding of other areas of management, including many featured on this website, will improve your overall ability to run meetings, for example:
- goal planning
- project management
- the Tuckman model of team maturity and development
- the Tannenbaum and Schmidt model of team development
- personality and styles
- facilitative decision-making (Sharon Drew Morgen's methodology - it's not just for selling)
- ethical and social responsibility considerations (ethical reference points are essential)