Quick Tip – Do Your Meetings Have a Complete Agenda?

Most agendas for a meeting look like this.

* Budget

* Payroll

* Staff

* Sales

* Zvoufzxtn

Some people tell me, “That’s a perfectly good agenda. I know what all of those things mean, except, uh, ‘Zvoufzxtn’.” The point is, Zvoufzxtn means as much to you as the other terms mean to the other participants. For example, does budget mean increase the budget? Plan a budget? Report on the budget? Reduce the budget? Complain about the budget? Make fun of the budget? Or zvoufzxtn the budget?

An agenda like the one above could launch a meeting that considers all of the possibilities mentioned above. Instead, you may have wanted to reallocate funds from one department to another.

A proper agenda specifies everything that the participants need to know to make the meeting effective. It should contain:

Goal: A clear description of the results expected by the end of the meeting, such as a decision, agreement, or solution.

Outcome: The reason (or benefit) for achieving the goal.

Activities: A detailed list of the activities that will be used in the meeting. This should be so complete that someone else could use it to lead your meeting.

Logistics: Everything that the participants need to know to contribute to an effective meeting. This can include directions to the meeting room, instructions on how to prepare, and a list of things to bring.

A complete agenda will help you hold effective meetings.

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