Ten tips for meetings at NHH

Ten tips for meetings at NHH

Here are some tips that can help make meetings at NHH better and more targeted.

NHH has much to gain by increasing the organisation's awareness of the use of time in meetings. All tips about meetings are not suitable for all kinds of meetings. Formal meetings call for a stricter structure than informal meetings.

  • 1. Notice/Convening of meetings

    1. Notice/Convening of meetings

    • The notice contains the starting and ending time as well as shows where the meeting is to take place, the agenda and any supporting documents.

    • The notice clearly explains the objective of the meeting.

    • The notice is distributed well in advance of the meeting, preferably two weeks before.

    • The convener of the meeting makes a critical assessment of who should participate in the whole meeting and who should participate in individual issues.

    • Use the Outlook calendar to convene meetings and book meeting rooms.
  • 2. Agenda

    2. Agenda

    • The agenda lists the items to be dealt with at the meeting.

    • Only matters that are relevant to the meeting's purpose shall be on the agenda.

    • The items are divided into issues for discussion and issues for information, and if need be any issues that call for a resolution.

    • A timeframe for how long we should spend on each item makes it easier for the chairperson to manage time. For the participants it provides an indication of how thoroughly each item should be treated.

    • Fixed items on the agenda are Approval of minutes from last meeting, Other items and Evaluation of the meeting.

    • All supporting documents are to be distributed together with the agenda.
    • Use NHH template in Word to set up the agenda.
  • 3. Decision-making authority

    3. Decision-making authority

    Be aware of whether the meeting is a decision-making body that passes resolutions on issues (for example by way of casting a vote), an advisory body, an information meeting or something else.

    If it is an advisory body, be clear where the different issues are forwarded for decision-making.

  • 4. Duration

    4. Duration

    Have respect for each other's time.

    The meeting shall be long enough to deal with the items on the agenda.

    If the meeting is well prepared by both the chairperson and the participants, a lot can be done in one hour.

  • 5. The chairperson's responsibilities are to

    5. The chairperson's responsibilities are to

    • ensure that technical equipment is ready for the start of the meeting and that the premises are left tidy afterwards.

    • chair the meeting and manage the time in accordance with the notice and agenda. When taking up other people's valuable time, it should be used well. The meeting shall start and end on time.

    • make sure that we stick to the agenda and revert to the matters in hand if the discussion gets off track.

    • establish meeting rules and enforce them, for example regarding the use of telephones and computers in the meeting and how one takes the floor (show of hands and list of speakers/talk freely).

    • decide whether the language to be used in the meeting and in the documents shall be in Norwegian or English.

    • help to create good relationships between the participants.

    • do one's utmost to ensure that each participant is motivated by attending the meeting.

    • summarise the conclusions and action points in each issue before moving on to the next item on the agenda.
  • 6. The participants' responsibilities are to

    6. The participants' responsibilities are to

    • submit supporting documents in good time so that they can be distributed together with the agenda.

    • meet precisely.

    • be prepared.

    • to show respect to others, be "mentally present" here and now at the meeting.

    • listen actively.

    • respect the viewpoints of others.

    • stick to the matter in hand.

    • contribute to the meeting finding solutions to the issue in hand.

    • speak up when we have something to add to the discussion, not to repeat what has already been said.

    • respect the chairperson's time management and the rules of the meeting.

    • switch off mobile phones unless they are being used to take notes.

    • advise at the start of the meeting if we need to be available on the phone or for e-mails.

    • avoid "meetings within the meeting", i.e. discussions between two or three participants while the meeting in underway.

    • speak out if we feel that the meeting is not functioning as it should.
  • 7. Between meetings

    7. Between meetings

    • Those participating in the meeting should prepare before the meeting and not during the meeting. 

      When everyone attends well prepared and has read the support documents in advance, the discussion can be started at once, without any need to review the support documents in detail. This way, the meeting is more effective, and time is freed up for other assignments.

    • Gather relevant information about concrete issues from the most important stakeholders/interested parties before the meeting.
  • 8. Minutes of the meeting

    8. Minutes of the meeting

    • The minutes of the meeting (protocol) reflect the agenda, and item name and number is transferred from the agenda to the minutes.

    • The minutes shall be brief and concise. Focus on action points and conclusions. What will happen in the future in each case, who is responsible for follow-up and what are the deadlines?

    • The participants shall have an opportunity to have input to the minutes within a given deadline. After the input has been evaluated and if necessary incorporated, the minutes are approved either by e-mail or at the next meeting.

    • Use NHH template in Word to write the minutes of the meeting.
  • 9. Communication

    9. Communication

    Since transparency is one of NHH's values, the general rule is that the agenda and the minutes of all meetings shall be made available to employees.

    Agree on how decisions are communicated to stakeholders/interested parties and to the organisation.

    Decisions that involve many can be communicated through internal channels such as managers, town hall meetings, Paraplyen, or e-mail.

  • 10. Filing

    10. Filing

    Some meeting documents are to be filed in P360. This is the responsibility of the chairperson.