This Meeting Attendee List template provides you with a sheet to record everyone who needs to receive copies of meetings minutes.
As a manager, you have almost certainly been there before. You are writing out an email to invite a certain group of individuals to a meeting that you need to hold, and you stare at the address line unsure of who to include. Is it better to have more people involved, even if some of them might not be directly related to the issue? Should you go 'lean and mean' with only people that are absolutely vital to the topic? This seemingly minor decision can actually be an important one, so it is crucial that you think hard about your invite list and be confident in it before you proceed.
By following the simple three step process below, you can make a tough decision much easier. Work your way through these three points and the invite list will practically make itself.
1. Start with the Easy Choices
To get your list going, start by writing down the names of those people who are most obviously going to be invited. The identity of these people will likely be very easy for you to come up with based on the purpose of the meeting. If you manage a specific division of your organization, you will probably be inviting all of the ongoing members of your team. You might also need to invite other managers that will be affected by the decisions that are made, and even some higher-ranking officials. The people that you put on this 'obvious' list should be easy to write out in just a couple minutes by thinking about the purpose of the meeting. If you hesitate at all on a specific name, wait to deal with it until later.
2. List out All other Possible Invites
With your preliminary invite list in hand, go about writing all other names that could possibly be invited into the meeting. If a name does not appear on your first list and could even be considered for an invite, quickly jot it down. At this point, you are not doing any active thinking about who to invite and who not to invite. You are simply compiling a list of possibilities. This might end up being a rather long list, but that is okay for now. Part of the problem with creating an invite list comes in when you never put specific names down that you are considering. By having a list to look at with every possible option, you can move on to finalizing the decision.
3. Refocus on the Purpose of the Meeting
What is this meeting really about? What is at the heart of the discussion and what decisions will need to be made? With those questions to guide you, start going down the 'maybe' list and move the names into the 'yes' or 'no' column. At all times, remain focused on the meeting itself. If you think someone's knowledge might be needed to guide the discussion, they should be included. If you feel that another individual will only detract from the progress that you are hoping to make, opt to leave them off. Everyone that ends up being invited should be working toward the same goal, and should come with the intention of the meeting being a success.
Managers spend much of their time either running or planning meetings. While much effort is placed on the purpose of those meetings, often the invite list is thrown together at the last minute. Remember, if you invite people who are not needed and just sit through it idly, you are taking time away from their day that could be spent productively. Only when an employee's time is going to be best spent in the meeting is it a good idea to invite them in. By using the three step process outlined above you should be able to quickly assemble a logical list and run your meeting without a hitch.
You may also be interested in: Chairing a Meeting, The Skills Required, The Importance of Meeting Rules, Duties of the Chair Before the Meeting, Duties of the Chair at the Beginning of the Meeting, Duties of the Chair During the Meeting and Duties of the Chair After the Meeting.