Share-Your-Meeting-Goal

5 Great Examples of Meeting Goals — and Why You Should Share Them

MEETING GOAL VS. AGENDA: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

In our previous post, 3 Reasons Agendas Help You Avoid Meeting Remorse, we shared why a meeting agenda is key to driving attendee participation and meeting effectiveness. Another key is sharing a meeting goal prior to your meeting.

The goal and the agenda are related and very complementary, yet in most cases, you rarely see either (or both) communicated before a meeting. But how does a meeting goal differ from an agenda?

The Where vs. the How

The goal is details the end game — where you’ll be by the end of the meeting. The agenda details how you’re going to get there — the specific topics of discussion. If you think of it as a journey, the goal is the destination, and the agenda gives you directions to get there. And if you don’t share both prior to your meeting, you’re asking your team members to go on a journey without packing their bags.

Meeting-GoalFive Great Examples of Clear Meeting Goals

You may have very different meeting types, from weekly team updates to executive roundtables, project meetings to brainstorming sessions. Setting a goal for each of these meeting types is fairly straightforward. Here are five examples of goals based upon common meeting types.

1. RECURRING TEAM MEETING: SET A GOAL FOR EACH SPECIFIC MEETING

This is a common meeting for most people. Whether the purpose is to report on progress made since the last meeting or to sync your team up on work that has been / needs to be done, we all have these meetings. But instead of setting the meeting goal as an update on the project, why not focus on where you are in the project and what needs to be done by the next meeting?

“Goal: Detail issues that need resolution and coordinate tasks to finish the design work for the spring email campaign by next Thursday.”

2. ONGOING PROJECT MEETINGS: MATCH GOAL WITH PROCESS

If you have meetings with different people from various organizations to complete your work or project, then the goal for each meeting is the specific problem you need to solve in conjunction with your cohort. While each of these meetings could be seen as a ‘one off’ or ad-hoc discussion, to you, it’s one step towards completing your work. Setting a goal is usually pretty straightforward; focus on what you need to solve.

“Goal: Finalize design criteria and requirements for the spring email campaign.”

3. BRAINSTORMING SESSION: NOT A LAUNDRY LIST

When you’re brainstorming, it’s great to have not only a goal TO brainstorm, but what you want to come away with at the end of the session. A long list of ideas is the start of the session, but at the end, you want to walk away with not only the list of possibilities but a list of great ideas to pursue.

“Goal: Generate two new potential promotional offers.”

4. COMMITTEE/BOARD MEETING: NOT JUST REPORTING

Committee meetings can be excruciating. 90% of the meeting is a verbal update from each committee chair — something that could have easily been written and distributed to the board prior to the live discussion. In volunteer/non-profit organizations, this can drive down participation to the point that people no longer desire to volunteer their time. Instead of spending the majority of time on reports, make sure that there is a goal for the specific meeting aside from reporting. Use everyone’s time well.

“Goal: Decide which of the five potential initiatives outlined last month is the top focus for next year.”

5. ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING: IDENTIFY YOUR PURPOSE

When starting an initiative, you always have the need to organize your participants and understand roles, responsibilities and next steps. Who, what, when, where, why and how…these are the questions you need to answer, and the organizational meeting is not to create the process, but to get people to buy in to the problem or opportunity. Whether it’s volunteers to organize a soccer league or a team to build a new product, you need to understand who is interested in joining you on this quest.

“Goal: Address the lack of opportunities for our kids to play organized soccer in the area; determine who is willing and able to help develop a league in the area.”

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To put these thoughts into action, try this:

Send Your Meeting Goal and Agenda Prior to Your Next Meeting

  • Create a concrete meeting goal and agenda items that map to that goal
  • Include both the goal and agenda on your meeting’s calendar invite
  • 24 hours prior to your meeting, send out the goal and agenda via email; it serves both as a meeting reminder and a refresher on the reason for the meeting

 

Comment below to let us know how sharing the goal and agenda prior to your meeting impacted your meeting!

Margaret Donnelly
margaret.donnelly@alignmeeting.com

Margaret Donnelly is CMO & Co-Founder of AlignMeeting. Margaret has enjoyed over 25 years in technology marketing and business development in Silicon Valley across telecom, computer hardware and software, consumer and business services industries. Her prior NH-based start-up, JitterJam, went from idea to exit in 18 months. Follow Margaret on Twitter @mwdonnelly

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