Meetings, Meetings, Meetings Planning, running and reviewing meetings: How to make your meetings more effective. Robert Ford World Academy Facilitator
Meeting Effectiveness WAFW Meeting Effectiveness is another tool for your World Academy Toolkit!
Agenda • The importance of effective meetings • The effective-meeting process: • Before meetings (Plan) • During meetings (Do) • After meetings (Review) • A checklist to review meeting effectiveness
When Is a Meeting Effective? A meeting is effective when it achieves itsobjectives in a minimum amount of time to the satisfaction of the participants Effective meetings are managed events –they don’t just happen
Steps to an Effective Meeting • Follow the agenda • Record group thinking • Practice good meeting behaviors • Enact meeting roles • Identify next steps • Note benefits and concerns • Evaluate effectiveness • Circulate meeting summary • Follow up on next steps • Incorporate benefits and concerns into next meeting plan • Establish the need (why) • Set a clear agenda (what and how) • Arrange logistics (where and when) • Define roles and responsibilities (who) • Pre-position key contributions • Identify and overcome barriers
75% How should you allocate your time? 20% ? ? ? ? 5% Planning Planning Doing Reviewing Planning should take the most effort in order to maximize the effectiveness of the meeting
We Participate in all Types of Meetings Presenting Facilitating Lecture/Presentation 25% Dowe really need to meet or can we do this without a meeting? 75% 50% 50% 75% 25% Discussion/Decision One-way information sharing meetings, briefings Project updates, management reviews Staff meetings, standing committee meetings Decision-oriented meetings, problem-solving meetings, task force meetings, team meetings, project team meetings, focus groups Source: How to Lead Work Teams: Facilitation Skills, Fran Rees.
When are meetings useful? • To share different perspectives and gain understanding • To brainstorm and further develop ideas • To make decisions • To develop action plans • To explain and clarify complicated information • To achieve consensus
When meetings are not so useful Consider Saying “NO” If there is no good reason to meet, find another way to achieve your objective • Simply because the meeting is being held • Because that’s what teams do • To share risk and avoid responsibility • To share information • To wordsmith mission statements, etc. • To be participatory • To follow up on actions • Because your presence is mandated
7 Basic Steps For Planning a Meeting 1. Decide precisely what you want to accomplish during the meeting – a decision, a plan, alternatives, understanding? 2. Determine who needs to attend and who can be copied on meeting minutes. Plan roles for the attendees in advance. 3. Plan the content of the meeting — the agenda — and the frequency and duration needed. 4. Plan how you will present each part of the agenda for maximum effectiveness. Consider your outcome and determine the methods and environment that best supports it.
7 Basic Steps For Planning a Meeting 5. Plan what you will do after the meeting or between meetings to be effective and to make progress like status updates, teleconferences, sub-teams. 6. Plan how you will evaluate the meeting — as it is taking place and afterward. 7. Reach agreement on meeting agenda, issues, and materials with key participants, sponsors, and resources prior to the meeting in order to proactively set expectations, build commitment, and resolve issues.
Guidelines for an Effective Agenda • Identify the time, date, place, and participants • Describe your objective • Tell the participants how to prepare • Set time limits on topics • Ensure enough time for a proper discussion • Schedule items in order of importance • Distribute in advance
Anticipate and Overcome Barriers Potential Barriers Potential Solutions • Uninformed participants • Uncooperative participants • Lack of authority to accomplish objective • Unresolved conflicts between participants Disseminating information prior to meeting Proactively working conflicts prior to meeting Setting a more limited objective Deciding not to meet
Plan your materials Before the Meeting . . . • Prepare straw model documents for the attendees to review • Gather materials you will need in the meeting • Slides – Flip charts • Handouts – Markers • Tape – Previous meeting’s next steps and minutes • Secure meeting room and equipment • Arrive early enough to make certain the room is prepared before meeting participants arrive • Post ground rules and other relevant materials on walls
Establish ground rules • Be on time – within 5 minutes of start • No distractions – phone, blackberry • One meeting, no side conversations • Limit anecdotes • No blaming or CYA • Be respectful • Be candid • Everyone gets a turn • Help clean up Ground Rules 1. Look for faults in others 2. Lob “grenades” 3. Ramble 4. Come with hidden agendas 5. Allow two meetings at the same time 6. Pass notes 7. Violate time contracts 8. Set up “lose-lose” situations
You are here 75% Doing 20% ? ? ? 5% Doing Doing is easy after all the planning.
Meeting Roles: Leader • “Owns” the meeting and sets the objectives • Guides the content of the meeting (are we meeting objectives?) • Determines the participants and assigns roles • Develops the agenda • Provides support, information, and resources • Sets the tone, expectations, and direction • Encourages creativity • Makes decisions or determines how to make decisions
Meeting Roles: Facilitator • Guides and monitors the process of the meeting (is the meeting running well?) • Makes it “safe” for everyone to participate • Monitors time contract or uses time keeper • Brings team back on-track when needed • Helps headline and clarify ideas • Aids team performance • Provides feedback
Meeting Roles: Scribe The scribe ends up having the most power over the course of the meetings because what is documented is what gets enacted. Documents everything noteworthy that occurs during the meeting, not just what was written on flipcharts: • Attendance, date, objectives • Ideas, discussion threads, parking lot items • Outcomes – decisions, next steps • What’s due for next meeting
Meeting Roles: Time Keeper • Monitors time contract • Brings team back on-track when needed
Meeting Roles: Resource • Generates ideas and recommendations • Adheres to the agenda • Practices good meeting behaviors • Enforces ground rules • Completes assigned tasks • Participates actively
De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats Learn more about this tool at: http://bit.ly/Wy0KKU The White Hat - calls for information known or needed. The Red Hat - signifies feelings, hunches and intuition. The Black Hat - is judgment -- the devil's advocate or why something may not work. The Yellow Hat - symbolizes brightness and optimism and how things could work. The Green Hat - focuses on creativity: the possibilities, alternatives and new ideas. The Blue Hat - used to manage the thinking process.
Running the meeting • Allow time for chit chat • Review the agenda • Remind team of the ground rules • Remind team of assigned roles • Record open ideas and issues in “parking lot” to be addressed later
Running the meeting • Help participants turn ideas, issues, and concerns into action plans/next steps • Manage the agenda and the time • Record next steps and decisions • Summarize the meeting results • Evaluate the meeting before leaving
Tips for improving meeting effectiveness Use headlining approach Help others headline ideas Be constructive Use the “how to” (H2) or I wish I knew …(IWIK) phrases Listen actively Paraphrase for understanding Observe time contract Use behavior enforcers, e.g. money pot
Tips for improving meeting effectiveness Build on others’ ideas Use parking lots Use multiple note takers Set up “win-win” situations Remember, “No idea is a bad idea” Do benefits before concerns Rotate roles Ensure everyone contributes
Encourage participation Let me build on that . . . What I like about that . . . What I hear you saying . . . How wouldwe. . . Help me understand . . . I wish I knew what . . . Can you say more about that . . .
Group Memory • Helps the group focus • Provides instant record of meeting content • Encourages participation • “Depersonalizes” ideas • Increases sense of accomplishment X
Leave time for feedback • Perform a process pro’s and cons or benefits and concerns: • What went well? • What should we improve for next time? • Perform a content pro’s and cons or benefits and concerns: • How well are we meeting our objectives? • What do we need to do better? • Assign roles for next meeting
75% You are here Reviewing 20% ? 5% Doing The only way to improve meeting effectiveness is to evaluate it and determine what to do better.
After the meeting • Review meeting benefits and concerns • Solicit participants’ individual feedback on meeting • Compare notes and prepare and distribute meeting minutes • Follow up on Next Steps via email, phone, etc. • Set up sub-teams to work on larger actions • Issue progress reports • Start planning the next meeting
Meeting evaluation checklist Yes __________ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ No __________ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Activity • Was an agenda sent out ahead of time with minutes and any pre-reading? • Were objectives clear? • Were handouts and meeting aides prepared in advance? • Was the meeting room set up properly? • Did the meeting start on time? • Was the agenda followed? • Did participants understand what was expected of them during the meeting? • Did the meeting end on time? • Was there good participation in the meeting? • Were meeting roles followed? • Was the meeting summarized? • Were participants’ problems, concerns, and needs sought? • Were decisions made or action items assigned to resolve problems? • Were commitments asked for and made and documented? • Were follow-up reporting times established? • Did meeting leader practice good interpersonal skills: active listening, paraphrasing, and recognizing non-verbals
Summary Effective meetings can make the difference between your team being successful at acomplishing their goals or not. Planning and preparing for meetings is the most important part of the process. If you don’t review how things went, how can you know where to improve? Robert Ford firstname.lastname@example.org www/linkedin.com/in/fordrm www.facebook.com/RobertMFord Fordrm 2653462978