5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings

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Lead meetings and conference calls with greater confidence using these 5 checklists covering: brainstorming and collaboration meetings, client update meetings, executive team meetings, project management meetings and staff meetings.

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5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings

  1. 1. Ninja Meeting Checklists 5 NINJA CHECKLISTS FOR CONDUCTING BETTER MEETINGS
  2. 2. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 2 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings Table of Contents 1. Brainstorming and Collaboration Meetings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2. Client Update Meetings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 3. Executive Team Meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 4. Project Management Meetings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 5. Staff Meetings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 6. Bonus: The “Six Hats” Approach to Executive Problem Solving. . . . . . . . . . 25 7. Ultimate Library of Leadership Guides. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 8. About Adigo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
  3. 3. Ninja Meeting Checklists BRAINSTORMING AND COLLABORATION MEETINGS
  4. 4. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 4 Brainstorming and Collaboration Meetings Brainstorming and collaboration meetings are used to rapidly generate many ideas. They place high value on both creative and human capital, and afford you the opportunity to identify unique and creative approaches to solve business problems or discover opportunities.
  5. 5. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 5 Brainstorming and Collaboration Meeting Checklist 4 • Structure sessions to allow for individual brainstorming. • Create a level playing field during group sessions. Be alert for “loud voices” and have a strategy for dealing with the problems they can cause. • Apply objective criteria to systematically evaluate every idea submitted to the group. • Be flexible on format. What works for one group may not work for a different group. Key Points for Meeting Leaders Assign participants the problem or topic ahead of time and ask them to prepare a list of 3 ideas to bring to the meeting. If possible, schedule meetings for mid morning – a high-energy time. Conduct a warm up session to get everyone involved and engaged with each other.
  6. 6. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 6 Checklist Continued... Provide individual and small group brainstorming structures to meet the needs of all participants, and virtual members. Plan how you will create a relaxed and fun environment. Present all ideas to the group -- even ideas which don’t seem to have much value can sometimes spark a great concept. Plan how you will accommodate different individual thinking and working styles. Present all ideas to the group -- even ideas which don’t seem to have much value can sometimes spark a great concept.
  7. 7. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 7 • Michael Sampson on running a brainstorming meeting in a virtual environment • Psychology Today on individual versus group brainstorming • Forbes on why many brainstorming sessions fail • Adigo’s Resource Center Resources Plan how you will accommodate different individual thinking and working styles. Give participants time to develop their ideas during the individual brainstorming phase. Encourage lateral thinking. Allow movement and active participation. Keep alert for “bad habits” and “loud voices.” Make it fun!
  8. 8. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 8 Ninja Meeting Checklists CLIENT UPDATE MEETINGS
  9. 9. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 9 Client Update Meetings During client update meetings, members of your organization interface with clients and business partners to provide updates on the status of ongoing projects and campaigns. Typically held at regular intervals over the duration of the project, these meetings often serve as the primary line of communication between you and your clients. As such, they must be carefully leveraged to ensure projects are progressing to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.
  10. 10. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 10 Client Update Meeting Checklist Hold an internal discussion with key project personnel in advance of the meeting to identify progress as well as challenges to progress. Compare the actual status of the project against anticipated/scheduled progress of the project. Identify specific causes of any gap between actual and expected progress. Come up with possible solutions to those challenges internally, in advance of the meeting. Arrange an accurate, comprehensive means of recording the entire discussion. • Begin with a factual presentation of project progress and the identification of challenges to anticipated or scheduled progress • Address any concerns you have about project budget and/or project scope • Hold positive, proactive discussions to resolve challenges through accommodation, compromise and/or collaboration • Conclude the meeting with a recap of the discussion and a clearly identified goal for the next scheduled update 4 Key Points for Meeting Leaders
  11. 11. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 11 Present progress to the client. Disclose any alterations to project budget or project scope. Identify challenges/impediments to progress. Hold a bilateral discussion to find solutions to those challenges or impediments. Recap the results of the bilateral discussion with the client. Identify a “going-forward strategy” so both parties have an equal and clear understanding of the next phase of the project and the next client update meeting. Checklist Continued... • The International Quality & Productivity Center’s Five Approaches to Resolving Conflict • Basecamp, a popular project management software solution can be used to better manage client projects • Adigo’s Resource Center Resources
  12. 12. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 12 Ninja Meeting Checklists EXECUTIVE TEAM MEETINGS
  13. 13. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 13 Executive Team Meetings At an executive team meeting, time is money. The cost of assembling your executive team is very high -- after all, these are the best-paid people in your company. It’s important that these meetings be brief and to the point. Outside of any regularly scheduled executive team updates, your top-ranking staff members should only be assembled if there’s an extremely important item to discuss. Typically, executive team members meet to discuss crucial items of strategy or significance related to the company’s immediate or long-term future.
  14. 14. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 14 • Create a structured agenda and do not deviate from it • Be as brief and to the point as possible at all times • Make sure discussion and interactivity is structured • Do not force decisions if you’re running out of time or having trouble reaching a consensus • Keep an accurate record of all discussion, and especially of votes and decisions Executive Team Meeting Checklist Distribute important materials and a summary of the meeting agenda for the executives to review at least 48 hours before the meeting Set a meeting time within regular business hours for all participants whenever possible Review the agenda with the secretary before the meeting starts, and make any necessary adjustments; communicate these adjustments at the outset of the meeting If possible, plan to hold the executive team meeting during the morning hours 5 Key Points for Executive Team Meeting Leaders
  15. 15. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 15 Assign a secretary to the meeting to keep an accurate record of all discussions and important votes or decisions Schedule regular breaks if the meeting extends beyond the 90-minute threshold Conclude the meeting with a summary of the important executive “takeaways,” particularly if the meeting resulted in discussions or decisions that force changes in company directives or policies Aim to wrap up the meeting 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled time Checklist Continued... • Tips for running effective meetings from Executive Travel • Meeting guidelines from Harvard Business Review • The dBono Group Six Thinking Hats website • Success Story: McDonald’s Japan Six Thinking Hats • See Adigo’s Resource Center for more! Resources
  16. 16. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 16 Ninja Meeting Checklists PROJECT MANAGEMENT MEETINGS
  17. 17. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 17 Project Management Meetings Superstar leaders recognize Project Management Meetings as some of the greatest opportunities available for collaboration and getting important things done. Well-executed, these meetings help ensure the project’s risks are known and addressed, schedule and costs are being controlled, goals are being met, and potential new opportunities are recognized.
  18. 18. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 18 Project Management Meeting Checklist Preparation: • Plan your approach • Choose your attendees ▷▷ Only people who are needed ▷▷ Remember decision-makers ▷▷ Consider participant schedules and locations • Communicate the agenda ▷▷ Be specific! • The biggest challenge with routine meetings is to keep them meaningful. • Use your Project Management Meetings to bring the team closer. • Facilitate success all the way through the planning, conducting, and wrap-up stages. 3 Key Points for Project Management Meeting Leaders
  19. 19. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 19 Conducting the Meeting: • Make sure the technology is in place and working ▷▷ Conduct sound checks for remote participants • Introduce participants • Lay out the ground rules ▷▷ Remote participants: • Introduce themselves every time • Use of mute ▷▷ Agreement to stay on focus • Use a parking lot to save non-agenda items for another time • Be the leader ▷▷ Keep conversations on agenda topics ▷▷ Monitor group interactions Checklist Continued...
  20. 20. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 20 Checklist Continued... Wrapping it Up: • Summarize the key points and re-iterate action items • Track and check in on action items to ensure progress is being made • Analyze the meeting’s positive and negative aspects – what could be done better next time? • MindTools on running effective meetings • cPrime on running effective meetings • Fast Company’s The Seven Sins of Deadly Meetings • ProjectManager on a 7-step approach for every project management meeting • The Fast Track on 5 steps to leading effective meetings • Scarlett Consulting on best practices for effective meetings • Monster on best practices for hosting virtual/teleconference meetings • Harvard Business Review’s meeting tips • See Adigo’s Resource Center for more! Resources
  21. 21. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 21 Ninja Meeting Checklists STAFF MEETINGS
  22. 22. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 22 Staff Meetings Regularly scheduled staff meetings allow personnel from different areas of expertise to share their goals, progress, and challenges. Team members and management can then see how these might influence other aspects of the project and help resolve any issues.
  23. 23. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 23 With every staff meeting, avoid the two major pitfalls by running through this checklist: Does the meeting have purpose, and is that purpose linked to the company’s overall mission and goals? Ask for inputs to the agenda, and be as specific as possible with it. Stick to the plan during the meeting: Open, clarify, develop, agree, and close. • Staff meetings really do have purpose. Tie the meeting to your overall organizational mission and goals. • Create a very specific agenda and have a plan to get through the meeting, but occasionally mix things up when doing so is valuable. • Your staff needs to trust that they’ll be heard and treated with respect. Don’t ignore the quieter voices or allow negativity to flourish. 3 Key Points for Staff Meeting Leaders
  24. 24. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 24 • Dr. Bob Levoy, How to Make Staff Meetings More Effective • Hrcouncil.ca, Workplaces that Work • Free Management Library’s post Staff Meetings: “All for One and One for All!” • Harvard Business Review’s top three challenges for effective meetings • Harvard Business Review’s post “Hold Conversations, Not Meetings” • Facilitate’s post on engagement • DDI’s Driving Workplace Performance through High-Quality Conversations • PsyBlog’s post on leadership emergence • See Adigo’s Resource Center for more! Resources Checklist Continued... Find ways to make it interesting – new information or new arrangements help. Engage everyone, especially the quieter or remote participants. Look for opportunities to pair up team members on tasks.
  25. 25. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 25 Ninja Meeting Checklists THE SIX HATS APPROACH TO EXECUTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
  26. 26. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 26 The “Six Hats” Approach to Executive Problem Solving An article published in the April, 2012 issue of Psychology Today cited a study which found individual brainstorming was, on average, far more productive than group brainstorming. The study built on long-established research, which showed that individuals were able to generate more than twice as many potential solutions to a given problem when working on their own rather than as part of a group.
  27. 27. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 27 Well-known business consultant Edward de Bono offers a unique model for brainstorming and collaboration meetings, known as the “six hats” approach, commonly known as “Six Thinking Hats.” Organizations such as Nestle, Oracle, LinkedIn and P&G have successfully used Six Thinking Hats to solve a variety of business problems. McDonald’s Japan for example had their executive team use it to solve internal issues.
  28. 28. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 28 Less than a year after implementing Six Thinking Hats, staff identified the following results: • Meeting times have been cut by about 25%. • The culture of the workplace has become more positive by reducing the proportion of Black Hat Thinking. • Open communication has been enhanced, due to every staff member’s involvement in all types of thinking.
  29. 29. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 29 Essentially, deBono’s model divides up teams into six groups, each of which wears a different-colored “hat:” The blue hat is worn by the meeting leader, who supervises brainstorming and collects the ideas being generated for individual presentation and consideration The white hat is worn by members who will apply fact- and data-based analytical modes to the ideas under discussion The red hat is worn by members who rely on intuition, hunches and emotional responses The green hat is worn by members who apply creativity and unconventional thinking to generate alternatives The yellow hat is worn by members responsible for highlighting the positives and potential benefits of every idea under discussion The black hat is worn by members responsible for playing “devil’s advocate,” and considering the negatives and potential undesirable outcomes of every idea under discussion
  30. 30. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 30 If you have been leading unfocused, unproductive brainstorming and collaboration sessions, De Bono’s “six hats” approach holds the potential to dramatically improve your outcomes. PROCESS CAUTIONS BENEFITS FEELINGS CREATIVITY FACTS Blue: Idea collector, leader White: Data driven inputs Red: Feelings and intuitions Green: Outside the box thinkers Black: Opposing viewpoints Yellow: Focused on the positives
  31. 31. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 31 Ninja Meeting Checklists ULTIMATE LIBRARY OF LEADERSHIP GUIDES
  32. 32. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 32 The Ultimate Library of Leadership Guides for Conducting Highly Productive Meetings These checklists are taken from a full set of leadership guides to help you lead more productive meetings. Each guide gives expert tips and strategies for conducting more effective meetings. Whether the meetings you lead are in-person, virtual or a hybrid of both, the insights gained from these guides will make you a more confident and empowered leader. They will also enable you to spark greater collaboration and participation among meeting members leading to more satisfying and productive outcomes. GET YOUR FREE LIBRARY OF LEADERSHIP GUIDES TODAY!
  33. 33. 5 Ninja Checklists for Conducting Better Meetings 33 Library of Leadership Guides - Contents Each type of meeting you lead presents individual challenges that require unique techniques. There isn't a one-size-fits-all when it comes to leading effective meetings. That’s why we created this library to address the following 5 types of meetings: 1. Brainstorming and Collaboration Meetings 2. Client Update Meetings 3. Executive Team Meetings 4. Project Management Meetings 5. Staff Meetings For your convenience, each guide is published as an individual ebook. That way, you can easily grab the guide you need for the meeting you’re preparing to lead.
  34. 34. About Adigo Adigo believes in making the world a better place by connecting people and ideas worldwide. We provide audio, web and video conferencing for businesses that need reliable, scalable collaboration tools. We optimize configurations for each account so conference calls can start faster, run trouble-free and increase organizations’ productivity. With Adigo, you get flexible conferencing features, enhanced functionality and superior international calling, along with a responsive and dedicated account staff. While quality and service are deteriorating industry wide, Adigo provides crystal clear fidelity and industry exclusive VIP accounts where participants drop right into conference without having to enter anything. People that value their time and want the utmost simplicity choose conferencing and collaboration tools with unrivaled quality and premium service. They choose, to Talk with Adigo. (888) 552-3446 | adigo.com | Follow @TalkAdigo

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