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Effective Meetings Workshop: ULS Leadership program

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One of a series of workshops prepared for the University Library System (ULS) Leadership Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Covers how to make meetings more productive and deal with common …

One of a series of workshops prepared for the University Library System (ULS) Leadership Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Covers how to make meetings more productive and deal with common problems, for example, getting people to participate and managing dysfunctional behaviors.


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  • 1. ULS Leadership Program Karen Calhoun 22 October 2012This work is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 2. What You Said About Problemswith Meetings Lack of agendas*  Unproductive meetings; Hard to schedule * meetings held “just Tracking outcomes and because” assignments; following  Attendees unprepared up *  Too many meetings Better facilitation; getting  Meetings too long people to participate  Traveling between Thomas Clearer, better, more and Hillman when creative and innovative meeting is not productive outcomes  Technology in 272 not Effective use of meeting good for virtual meetings time *Top three 2
  • 3. Agenda Topic TimeArrival, social time, & What You Said 10:00-10:15 amWhy have a meeting? 10:15-10:30 amYour role as chair – are you willing?Ground rulesGetting people to participate 10:30-10:45 am(handouts)Short break 10:45-11:00 amDesigning a meeting – Agendas 11:00-11:45 am(exercise)Outcomes, assignments, following up 11:45-12:00(handouts)Lunch and social time 12:00-12:30 pmDealing with process problems 12:30-1:15 pm(exercise)What have you learned today? 1:15-1:45 pm(exercise)Close and get on shuttle 1:45-1:50 pm 3
  • 4. Why Have a Meeting? Inform and gather input  Make or validate Kick off a project or decisions process  Establish new ways of Evaluate work in doing things progress; identify next  Provide forum for airing steps/assignments concerns or asking Evaluate completed work questions Plan and/or prioritize  Solve problems Motivate  What else? Can you classify the meetings you are going to next week? 4
  • 5. Does the meeting have a clearpurpose or purposes? If not (andyou are in charge) DON’T MEET! Alternatives to meeting  Weekly newsletter?  Post info on SharePoint?  Plain old memo, report or email?  Have an informal conversation(s) on phone, in person, via email?  Combine with something else?  What other ideas? 5
  • 6. Kinds of Meetings – Face-to-Faceand Virtual Stand up meetings – operational – very short – sometimes daily Weekly / tactical / progress review Monthly / strategic / longer term planning Formal governance meetings Quarterly/Semiannually etc. – long time horizon, sometimes off site (less often virtual) 6
  • 7. Your Roles as Chair + Delegator: Be specific – who, what, when, how? Chair+ Sometimes:Recorder – if youcan’t recruit one Organizer Facilitator 7
  • 8. Based on ideas in Haycock 2011:http://www.slideshare.net/KenHaycock/effective-meetings-7169529Am I Willing to …  Invest my time in planning meetings?  Invest my time in capturing actions, decisions, following up and communicating?  Model the behaviors that the organization needs?  Encouraging and engaging in dialogue?  Building consensus?  Listening?  Facilitating listening and 2-way learning?  Communicating sideways, up and down?  Engaging in crucial conversations (managing conflict)? 8
  • 9. Chair as Facilitator Reflect the group, not yourself Observe and manage meeting progress Manage disruptions and conflict Develop people Encourage Seek participation Clarify Summarize 9
  • 10. Ground Rules and Norms – foreveryone in the meeting Arrive on time, end on time Come prepared Be respectful and honest in communications Comments succinct and on topic Don’t interrupt Seek first to understand Follow up actions that are assigned to you Signs for “accept,” “can live with,” and “cannot accept”? Oral reports okay or not? What happens when someone misses a meeting or is frequently late? Confidentiality? What else? 10
  • 11. Getting People to Participate  Takes practice!  Tell less, ask more - Ask questions  See handouts  Listening Observer Worksheet  Roles People Play in Groups  Data Collection/Discussion Methods and Techniques  Linear Problem Solving/Decision Making Model  Brainstorming Rule SheetThe handouts are used with thanks to Chet Warzynski, Roxi Bahar, and Clint Sidle,Cornell University Organizational Development. They are taken from their“Discovering Leadership” Workshops, 1999-2000. 11
  • 12. Take a Break! 12
  • 13. From Endicott , Lazar and Ford 2006http://www.slideshare.net/ringer21/too-much-time-wasted-in-meetings-why Meeting Traps Leadership: Poor planning No agenda Insufficient follow-up Capabilities: Focus: Not enough knowledge about conducting meetings Disruptive behavior Right people not present Delayed decisions Participants are unprepared Unclear objectives 13
  • 14. Designing a Meeting (Exercise) Work in pairs – 30 minutes (15 minutes each person) 15 minutes - reporting out In pairs, study the following handouts:  Key Questions for Meeting Designers  Meeting Design Exercise  Roles People Play in Groups (from prior exercise)  Data Collection/Discussion Methods and Techniques (ditto)  Meeting Agenda Work together to design and produce agendas for two upcoming meetings using these handouts Reporting out: Discuss the process of completing your Meeting Design Exercise form and describe what you learned from the exercise (max 2 minutes each person)Handouts are from “Discovering Leadership” workshops 14
  • 15. Actions and Decisions - Outcomes,Assignments, Following Up Identify actions and/or decisions/proposals made Assign responsibility and time frame for actions Create action log and use it to track progress and encourage accountability After the meeting, ask yourself: Who needs to know? What and when? Follow up with other stakeholders as needed (esp. if all the stakeholders were not in the room) Communicate results (e.g., post agendas and action notes to SharePoint and announce their availability) Keep “parking lot” of undiscussed topics What else? 15
  • 16. Lunch! 16
  • 17. Dealing with Process Problems Apathy  Late arrivals Fear  Conflict avoidance Blocking  Inattention Negativity  Side conversations Cynicism, sarcasm  Straying off topic Dominating  Multitasking (e.g., working Interrupting on a regular on cell phone or tablet not basis related to meeting) Withdrawal, “checking  Sniping out”  What else? 17
  • 18. Coping with Dysfunctional Behaviors in Meetings(Exercise) Purpose – Review and test various coping strategies Work alone – 5 minutes – examine the situations in the Meeting Management Worksheet (handout) Work in groups of 4 – 20 minutes – try to achieve group consensus on the best way to rank the suggested responses (1 = best suggestion; 2=middle; 3=worst suggestion). Write your responses on the flip chart. Karen distributes Meeting Management Suggested Rankings Sheet and explanatory notes. Groups compare their responses to the Suggesting Rankings – write on flip chart (see next page) – 5 minutes Group discussion of the questions on the next slide – 10 minutesCredit: Doyle, Patrick, and C.R. Tindal. 2003. “Meeting Management:Coping with Dysfunctional Behaviors.” In The Pfeiffer Book of SuccessfulLeadership Development Tools, 291–304. San Francisco CA: Pfeiffer. 18
  • 19. How to Write Your Results on theFlip ChartSituation One - SaboteurYour Group’s Ranking Doyle and Tindal Suggested Ranking# ## ## #Situation Two - SnipingYour Group’s Ranking Doyle and Tindal Suggested Ranking# ## ## #Situation Three Etc. 19
  • 20. What are the best ways to copewith dysfunctional behaviors? Which of the behaviors in the exercise did you recognize? What were your reactions to being in the chair role and deciding how to deal with the dysfunctional behaviors? What, if any dysfunctional behaviors occurred in your subgroup as you worked toward consensus? How did your subgroup deal with these? We did not discuss coping with conflict. What interest might you have in covering conflict management in an hour-long future workshop? 20
  • 21. Closing Exercise – What Have YouLearned Today ? Work again in pairs – 10 minutes (5 minutes each person) – answer this question:  What have you learned today that you will use tomorrow or before the end of the week? How will you use it?  How will you evaluate your progress over the next six weeks or so? Reporting out and group discussion – 15 minutes 21
  • 22. Thanks for coming! Please don’tforget to fill out the evaluation form in DropBox! Photo by Edgar Barany. CC-BY-NC. http://www.pragjesu.info/prague-autumn-leaves-l.htm 22

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