As meetings sometimes go out of hand, it could be helpful to define some basic rules. Within this article I want to introduce some basic meeting rules and explain how to deal with them.
Define meeting rules
If you want to use rules for your meeting, then they should be defined previously as common guidelines, valid in all meetings and all project teams. I would not recommend defining rules during the meeting because then they are given by single persons and will not be accepted by everyone.
If you don’t have any meeting rules yet, you should define them. So if you are organizer of a meeting you can bring in a list with the company meeting rules. But in case you are a participant only, you should not try to define these guidelines. Instead you should speak with the meeting organizer and give him your list.
Deal with meeting rules
As the participants of a meeting should not define the rules, they should also not monitor their compliance. The meeting moderator should be the only person who observe, address and prevent violations of the meeting rules.
Following I want to give you some examples for possible meeting rules. Of course you may adapt this list to your specific needs.
- We will follow the agenda
- Always focus on the meeting subject
- Listen to contributions and opinions of others…
- … and build up your own statements on these inputs
- Let everyone finish his statement
- Discuss solution-oriented and not problem-oriented
- Communicate your goals
Meeting rules will often help to improve the meeting culture. These rules should be introduced as common guidelines by your company. If no company meeting rules exist they can also be introduced by the meeting moderator. The moderator should also be the person which observe, address and prevent violations of the meeting rules.