Who you have at your meeting is crucial to it’s success.

There is no point trying to solve a problem with a key department not represented or trying to agree expenditure without the budget holder there. Think about what you are trying to achieve and who you need to help you.

On the other hand too many attendees make a meeting harder to control and drags on as everyone wants their say. In some organisations it’s cool to be seen at certain meetings and once people have a seat at the table they are reluctant to give it up! Beware anyone who wants to bring a side kick or two!

I take a two pronged approach to deciding who to invite

  1. What skills/knowledge/authority do I need at the meeting to achieve our aims? Who can bring these?
  2. If an invitee asks me “Why do you need me at the meeting?” I need to have a convincing answer!

If you are inviting someone to a meeting for a specific topic or discussion make that clear from the outset. It’s important that you explain to attendees what you expect of them e.g. an update on a project. No-one likes to be put on the spot or caught unawares. Attendees will respect you for your clarity and planning and will be more likely to have an input into future meetings.

For regular meetings it’s a good idea to review the attendees on a regular basis rather than blindly carry on with the same list. Organisations move on, structures change and people move role, so your meeting needs to move with the times

How do you make sure you have the right attendees at your meeting?

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