Successful meetings – What’s in a name?

There are a lot of subtle ways you can set a meeting up for success. This article focuses on getting the right title.

It seems like a little thing, but having the right title for your meeting can really set the tone. If you have a generic title, such as “discuss info needs” it really doesn’t describe what needs to be achieved. With that title people can come in, have a bit of a chat, and as long as it stays generally on topic you can call it a success.

If you really need a decision or specific input, your best chance is to put the requirements clearly in the title. If you called the meeting “decide on a new CRM” it becomes a lot clearer what you need to do. Everyone will come to the meeting ready to take on that task.

You may also get a reaction from people who aren’t ready to make a choice, which is also very useful. You need people to communicate what barriers are in the way of the decision, such as “our team can’t agree on the information we want to capture”. Don’t see this feedback as a negative, it’s a very practical point. It is now clear that the team needs to do some homework first so schedule it in ahead of the decision meeting.

Making it clear that your meeting is about business decisions will also help you get the right people in the room. Managers will tend to delegate ‘discussions’ but not the vote. You need to know you have the right people in the room to make the call.

All of these factors come together to help determine if your meeting is likely to be successful or not – even before your meeting has even started. So next time you are setting up an important meeting, make sure you take the time to get the title right.

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