As a manager, you try your best to not be responsible for a meeting failure. To avoid conflict, you have invited all the stakeholders. Too many non-participating heads can create a commotion. How to recover from such a disaster? In this article at Harvard Business Review, Anne Sugar discusses 3 ways to manage surplus people to prevent a meeting failure.
People Management to Prevent a Meeting Failure
Inviting relevant people leads to effective decision-making. Otherwise, people feel bored and resentful when they cannot contribute. Worse, they can redirect the conference to a completely different direction leading to a meeting failure. Following are the ways you manage surplus people to avoid a meeting failure:
Change the Agenda: Managers should follow the 8-18-1800 meeting framework. For decision-making, eight people are enough. You can have a successful brainstorming session with a gathering of up to 18. The headcount of 1800 is ideal for sharing information. If there are more than eight people in the ongoing meeting, change the agenda as per the above framework.
Divide into Smaller Groups: If there are too many invitees, divide them into smaller groups and ask to nominate a spokesperson. Provide them with a problem and timeline and guide them when needed. Everyone feels involved and each group might come up with a solution that would ultimately solve the issue.
Dismiss Early or Cancel Entirely: Flooded with meetings every other day, people will be too happy to get out of one early. With a massive turnout, you can achieve nothing fruitful, so explain your agenda and dismiss the gathering soon. If you fear they might consider the meeting as a waste of time or politicize the situation, cancel it entirely. Cancel the meeting as early as possible as some members might be traveling to attend it. Do not cancel often as that might raise questions on your management skills. When this disaster is over, schedule another meeting with a small gathering and this time involve only relevant attendees.
To view the original article in full, visit the following link: https://hbr.org/2019/03/what-to-do-when-your-meetings-have-gotten-too-big