Meetings are an integral part of leading a team. Although sometimes they can be a drag, they don’t have to be. Meetings should always be utilized to the full extent to avoid the ever so popular “this should have been an email” mentality. Here are 5 ways to assure your meeting is being carried out effectively.

Assign a Leader
As a leader you don’t always have to be the one running team meetings. Assigning others to lead meetings can be an effective way to allow others to voice their inputs and effectively contribute to the task at hand. Many organizations use a rotational program to assure that all team members are contributing. This keeps teams sharp and on task.

Go Device Free
Asking everyone to leave their devices at the door or turning them off is one of the most effective ways to manage the focus of all in attendance. Emails, calls and texts can most times wait until after the meeting, so there is no reason to feel bad for simply asking to turn them off. Without the use of devices the meeting can also be shorter and more productive. Meetings should not be a competition for focus, and should always be conducted in a productive environment.

Always provide a recap of the meeting, this can be most effective after the meeting either via email or hard copy. Recaps should be noted during the meeting to assure accuracy and then created afterwards. Do not provide too much information as it is not supposed to be a substitute. If the contents of a meeting is able to be translated into the contents of an email, then it may have been unnecessary. No effective meeting should ever fit in one email.

Cap the Attendance
Some of the most effective meetings are usually conducted in the presence of 5-8 people. Having a small workgroup is usually the most effective, it is most important to carefully select the attendance, as too many is too unproductive. If you need to reach a large amount of people, consider splitting the group up into smaller sections to follow the 5-8 person rule.

Location Selection
When holding the meeting, choose a unique location that will be interesting to all. Avoid the usual boardroom at all costs. Going outside for meetings has proven to be an effective and fairly simple technique to boost the morale. The next best place to hold a meeting is the local cafe. Whichever location that you choose, just be sure to keep it unique and different from other “boring” board rooms meetings.