We, as product managers, attend a lot of meetings every day. It is not easy to be productive and effective in all the meetings.
Yet, it is essential to lead and participate in meetings effectively.
Today, I share four tricks that help me be effective in meetings.
1. Be prepared before the meeting
Take time to prepare for meetings in advance.
1. Create the meeting agenda and goal, and share it with attendees at least two days in advance.
2. Inform attendees of what they need to prepare for the meeting.
3. Share any relevant documents that could be essential for the attendees to make the discussion meaningful.
2. Lead the meeting and keep it on track
1. When you start the meeting, re-iterate the meeting’s agenda and goal.
2. Keep everyone on topic – interrupt if you feel anyone is going off-topic.
3. For conversations that are tangential or not relevant to the goal, park the topic and discuss it in smaller groups.
4. For the attendees whose input is vital to the discussion, ensure they get a chance to contribute.
5. Keep the attendees engaged. Encourage them to participate (if relevant.) Have regular pauses in the meeting to check if anyone has questions/comments.
3. Document everything.
Documenting the discussion points, decisions, next steps, and open questions from the meeting are critical to ensure everyone is on the same page. These documents act as excellent references for the future.
I take a lot of notes in my meetings and follow a straightforward process – detailed here.
4. Follow up after meetings
After the meeting, it is essential to follow up with all attendees. I recommend doing the below steps.
1. Share a recap of the meeting. I like to share the notes documents from the session (as highlighted in trick #3 above.)
2. If there are critical action items, send reminders to their owners and re-iterate the expectation and its due date.
3. Share a transparent feedback mechanism. If attendees have questions or need more clarity, inform them who they should reach out to and how.