Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tips for Making Your Next Meeting Work

Making Your Next Meeting Really Work

Copyright 2011 -Jennifer Britton

The Death by Meeting syndrome is endemic in today’s work environment. Did you know that the average employee spends 25% of their time in meetings. Here are five tips for making your next meeting the best it can be.

Have a clear focus – Clarify what the purpose is, and be clear on the outcomes you want to achieve. Create an agenda, assign timefrwames to the itmes you deem necessary. Stick to the timeframes, and if you can finish more quickly – great, keep moving! You will also want to determine if two shorter, more focused meetings, can be as effective as one longer meeting.

Make sure that the right people are at the table. As you create your agenda, ask yourself - Who needs to be there? Who would be useful to have at the table to provide information on an item? To make a decision on an item? To take issues forward. Also, consider who doesn’t need to be there? It is important to recognize that decisions involving more group members take longer, so don’t hesitate to set up smaller groups or committees to take discussion forward, and report back to the bigger group.

Assign responsibility – Before moving off a topic make sure that next steps are clear. Assign responsibility to one person who will take action on the item and report back to the group. Standard coaching questions such as :What will you do? By When? How will we know? will come in handy.

Follow up with follow up and accountability – On action items and important issues, ensure that you close the loop on what action steps were promised last meeting.

Assess and Readjust – As you become more proficient as a group with really effective meetings, notice what is really working. What old approaches need to be abandoned?.

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Phone: 416.996.TEAM

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