Inviting people to a meeting sounds like it should be a simple thing to do. Just pop them over a meeting invite, and that should be job done.
But, let’s reverse the role for a second. Think about how you feel when you just get a calendar invite sent to you asking you to attend a meeting. No agenda, no objectives and no details whatsoever about what the meeting is about. It doesn’t help or engage you and help with the motivation to attend, does it?
We see a lot of this. Now, consider how you feel when you arrive at the meeting. Are you feeling motivated and like you want to be there? Probably not!
It’s safe to say if this is how you would feel, then it’s highly likely that others will feel the same if this is how you invite them to a meeting.
If you want people to attend a meeting and want to be there and be fully engaged in the process, then there more to do than just sending a simple invite.
The engagement process starts well before the meeting. You need to help others to prioritise your meeting over everything else that you have going on. This means we need to add more detail to the meeting invite.
A meeting invite should have:
- A description of the purpose of the meeting – this should describe the ‘why’. It should set out the background and explain why the meeting has been called.
- The objective(s) of the meeting – what will the meeting drive out? Will it be decisions, actions, agreements. You need to help others see that there is value to the meeting.
- An agenda or order of discussion – this should set out the talking points that will be discussed during the meeting and how much time has been allocated to each.
When we deliver training courses that include sessions on how to run a successful meeting, we use a tool called a POP Template. This tool helps us to achieve all of the above. POP stands for Purpose, Objectives, Process.
By completing the document adding/pasting it into the meeting invitation, it allows for more successful meetings as it aims to help meeting delegates to become more engaged in the meeting before they even arrive.
It also helps others to effectively prioritise, meaning they should be able to come back to you and let you know that they have something that is more business-critical to work on rather than attend the meeting. This should be completely allowable.
We hope these few points help you to have more successful meetings.