Effective meetings July 7, 2007Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Effective meetings, Keeping Organized.
Stop wasting time in meetings! Just because you are a small company does not mean that you can afford to waste time and energy in meetings. The Big Dogz know and practice good meeting management, and you can too. Here is a tips list to help you get your meetings more organized:
- Each meeting has just one purpose. Keep people focused on that purpose. If you do not know the purpose of the meeting, figure it out before you start the meeting. Ask “What are we trying to accomplish?’
- It is generally a good idea to leave rank at the door, especially in problem solving meetings. However, appoint someone in the meeting to be the facilitator. Experiment with using different facilitators.
- Create an agenda for your meeting. Put the most important topics first on the agenda. Provide time estimates for all agenda items, and stick to them.
- Use a time bank. Add 10-15 minutes at the end of the agenda. Use this time during the meeting to keep people on target. If you finish an agenda item early, deposit the time in the time bank. People will work hard to have time left in the time bank because it means they get out early.
- Send the agenda to everyone ahead of time so they can give you feedback and be prepared. Once the meeting starts, post the agenda or hand out a copy to each person.
- The first topic on the agenda is to review and adjust the agenda.
- Discuss general guidelines for behavior in your meetings. Something like “Only one person talks at a time.” These guidelines can be developed over time based upon the behaviors of people in the group.
- Use the parking lot to contain topics that are off purpose. Always ask permission to put a topic or question into the parking lot. Always empty the parking lot before the end of the meeting. That is, assign it to someone, make it an agenda item for another meeting or identify that the issue has been handled. Not emptying the parking lot will cause reluctance to put future items into the parking lot.
- Appoint someone to be a time keeper. This person also keeps track of the time back.
- Appoint a scribe. This person will take the minutes of the meeting. You can use the Meeting Documentation form attached to this entry. Before the meeting ends, have the scribe read the minutes to make sure everyone agrees. Update the form and distribute the minutes to all participants as soon as possible after the meeting.
- At the end of a meeting, do a group process discussion about how the meeting went. What did we do well? What did we do that was not effective? What ideas do you have to make us more effective?
If you follow these tips, you will see that meetings do not need to be time wasters.
Send an email to Rick: email@example.com