If your meetings are rambling and unfocused, it may be time to learn or relearn what makes a meeting effective and meaningful. Start by identifying the meeting’s objective. Are you looking for updates, ideas, or decisions? Are you communicating changes or educating about plans?
Often times meetings have more than one objective. In that case, clearly identify what you’d like to achieve with each agenda item. Do you want input, or are you just sharing information?
If discussions begin drifting in an unintended direction, suggest adding the drift topic to the next meeting agenda. Or make plans to address it offline with those who appear most interested. Sometimes coming together does raise issues not previously considered. When the situation warrants, it’s okay to have your passion for maintaining order and control at all cost to give way to flexibility. Just be sure that the un-planned-for discussion moves you closer to your established goals and objectives.