Some of the typical things we think about when scheduling a meeting are: “What is the purpose of this meeting?,” “What topics will be discussed?,” “What solutions and/or decisions will be made during this meeting?,” “Who will attend the meeting?.,” and “How do you decide who should be invited to a meeting?.” The latter of these thoughts, “Who should attend?,” and “How do you decide?,” are critical to the success of the meeting. The people in attendance will be directly involved in any outcomes of the meeting, and having the right people in attendance is crucial. Below are a few questions to ask yourself the next time you’re coming up with an attendee list for your next meeting.
Will the decision maker(s) be present?
Obviously, the leadership team needs to be present if there are will be any key decision making. If your meeting is centered around a solution or decisions that need to be set into motion quickly there’s no need to even schedule the meeting if one or more of the decision makers cannot attend. Re-schedule, and make sure all key leadership members are present.
What is the attendee’s role in the meeting?
Will the attendee be directly impacted by discussions or outcomes of the meeting? Will the attendee need to provide specific information, numbers, or details? If so, they need to be there. It can be difficult to relay the entire meeting through an email or face-to-face recap. It can also become frustrating if someone you need to be in the meeting is not invited and you are constantly pulling them into the meeting unexpectedly.
Does the attendee provide valuable feedback/insight?
If you’re on the fence about who should be invited, look at previous meetings and interactions. Maybe someone from the team that doesn’t necessarily have to attend the meeting is the most forward-thinking person on the team and their feedback is valuable. Who brings the best ideas and insight? Who looks at problems as if they were opportunities?
Does the attendee interact/communicate well with others?
We’ve all worked with someone or know someone that is either negative, a bad communicator, or just refuses to get involved with meetings and team interaction. Why invite them? If they’re a key player it would be hard to keep them off the invite list, but if they communicate better one-on-one, this could benefit that individual and the entire team.
Having the right attendees will not only benefit the outcome of the meeting, but it will also help stop making meetings so boring. If each attendee felt like they had value during the meeting, they brought something to the table, and left feeling motivated.
Have you ever had an experience with inviting the “wrong” attendees to your meeting? If so, I’d love to hear feedback on what you did to correct it for the next meeting – leave a comment below!