Effective Meetings . 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 its
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A meeting is effective when it achieves its
objectives in a minimum amount of time
to the satisfaction of the participants.
Effective meetings are managed events –
they don’t just happen.
Planning should take the most effort in order to maximize the effectiveness of the meeting.
Dowe really need to meet or can we do this without a meeting?
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.
Consider Saying “NO”
If there is no good reason to meet, find another way to achieve your objective
Assigning and agreeing roles in advance helps with attendance
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.
I prefer longer meetings that meet less frequently
How will decisions be made? Voting? Consensus?
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.
Setting up sub-teams and progress status reporting outside meetings saves meeting time for group issues
Before the Meeting . . .
Bring drafts of documents to work on like charters, mission statements, etc. Do not start with blank pages. If needed, commission a sub-team to write drafts.
Be on time – within 5 minutes of start
No distractions – phone, blackberry
One meeting, no side conversations
No blaming or cya
Everyone gets a turn
Help clean up
Team vynamics– whereby two or three team members vie to dominate the meeting conversation
1. Look for faults in others
2. Lob “grenades”
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
Doing is easy after all the planning.
Documents everything noteworthy that occurs during the meeting, not just what was written on flipcharts:
The scribe ends up having the most power over the course of the meetings because what is documented is what gets enacted.
Giving everyone a specific role gives them more of a reason to attend and makes your meeting more effective. Consider assigning hats.
The White Hat
The White Hat calls for information known or needed.
The Red Hat
The Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition.
The Black Hat
The Black Hat is judgment -- the devil's advocate or why something may not work.
The Yellow Hat
The Yellow Hat symbolizes brightness and optimism and how things could work.
The Green Hat
The Green Hat focuses on creativity: the possibilities, alternatives and new ideas.
The Blue Hat
The Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process.
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
Ensure everyone contributes
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 . . .
If you don’t do this your meetings will never get any better.
The only way to improve meeting effectiveness is to evaluate it and determine what to do better.
1. Was an agenda sent out ahead of time with minutes and any pre-reading?
2. Were objectives clear?
3. Were handouts and meeting aides prepared in advance?
4. Was the meeting room set up properly?
5. Did the meeting start on time?
6. Was the agenda followed?
7. Did participants understand what was expected of them during the meeting?
8. Did the meeting end on time?
9. Was there good participation in the meeting?
10. Were meeting roles followed?
11. Was the meeting summarized?
12. Were participants’ problems, concerns, and needs sought?
13. Were decisions made or action items assigned to resolve problems?
14. Were commitments asked for and made and documented?
15. Were follow-up reporting times established?
16. Did meeting leader practice good interpersonal skills: active listening, paraphrasing, and recognizing non-verbals