Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Effective Meetings: Things to Consider

Earlier this month, we covered Ground Rules for Effective Meetings (view the video here).

Today, we're fleshing out how effective meetings happen (hint:  it's not by accident!).  Having a productive, effective meeting takes a little bit of forethought and planning.

Here are some things to consider before your next meeting that might make for better results.

  Thanks to Tanya Rahman for contributing these thoughts!


1. Define the meeting objective:  What exactly are we meeting about?

2. Who is invited?
  • Who needs to be there? Not everyone under the sun…
  • Keeping the numbers to the bare minimum will ensure you are not wasting anyone's time
  • Depending on the context, you may need an independent facilitator - someone objective who can keep tempers in check
  • Depending on who is invited, you may want to include a dial-in and screen-share option in the meeting
3. Think details
  • What information, background or context can I provide to the attendees beforehand?
  • How long does the meeting need to be?
  • How can you structure the meeting to be the most effective?
4. Location location location
  • Is the space large enough?
  • Do you have all the props you need? Whiteboard, post-it notes, sharpies
  • Have you tested the technology in the room?
  • Is the room comfortable enough?  Light, temperature, etc.?
5. Break the ice - people may not know each other well. Name tags, introductions, and/or ice breakers might be needed

6. Encourage participation
  • Co-create and explicitly agree on ground rules
  • Request people's thoughts before the meeting
  •  Make it fun with prompts, flashcards or even role-playing
  •  Use Parking Lot to park off-topic items
7. Keep the momentum going: Use open-ended questions to keep it moving

8. Have an open mind - be prepared to be challenged and to challenge other's ideas
  • Be flexible
  • Open to possibilities
  • Things do not always go as planned
9. Review next steps and action points
  • Make sure everyone leaves the meeting with tangible action items
  • Circulate meeting minutes afterward
  • Rate the meeting on Respect, Communication, Participation and Creativity (The four parts of a positive culture that Brene Brown highlights in her new book, Dare to Lead are: Respect, Communication, Participation, and Creativity.)

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