Ever see or hear this type of exchange at the water cooler? The sad truth is that if meetings have a bad name, it is often because there isn’t a good reason for one.
As a meeting convener, your first task is to explore if the desired outcomes could be achieved through a more effective avenue.
For information-sharing meetings, here are nine effective meeting tips you might want to consider:
- Share written information and documents through email and focus the meetings to questions and reactions, rather than presentation.
- Create an on-line group engagement blog or open-ended survey, inviting anyone to contribute their ideas before the meeting.
- If you are connecting with a large number of people, create a recorded or video-taped message to ensure everyone hears the same message.
- Determine who really needs to attend. Are you inviting people out of courtesy rather than necessity? Can agenda items be bundled in order that some participants can attend the part of the meeting that is most relevant to them?
- Challenge whether that ‘routinely scheduled meeting’ is really adding value. Just because you’ve always met as a team on Wednesday mornings, doesn’t mean the meeting is always required. If there is no pressing need to meet; then pass that week.
- Can your status meetings, say in a production shop, be held standing up? You may find as others have that the length of meetings is drastically reduced because most folks don’t like to have to stand for too long. Standing meetings motivate participants to get to the point faster.
- Ban all cells, laptops and other distracting devices during the active meeting to ensure participants are focused.
- Give participants a couple of minutes before you open up a status go-round, to write down their points. Then invite laser-like, headline contributions only. Details can be provided through Q&A.
- Set the timer for the scheduled time, appoint a Timekeeper, and ask for regular cues on time remaining. Start and end the meeting on time.
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