Effective meetings involve both the WHAT – content and the PROCESS. Like instructional design… where we are and where we want to be at the end of the session/meeting, use processes to get there. Most problems lie in the process or lack of. –Process is whatsguides the meeting through the agenda, w/ people focused & participating.
Unrelated topicsPark informationReview at beginning
First ask WHY MEET? What is your purpose for this meeting? If you cant come up with a real purpose why are you even meeting? RESPECT people’s timeThink about your stakeholders, who are the final decision makers, who will be affected by this meetings outcomes who can assist or block a decisions. Or even the context assessment – what is happening in the larger picture, that could impact this meeting. Make sure you know and your attendees know the desired outcome of the meeting . Is it a decision or plan? Or is is knowledge like a staff meeting to disseminate information.Determine mtg roles - is the leader invested in the outcome so much that you need an outside facilitator to run the meeting? Or can the leader also facilitate? Leading a meeting and trying to take notes can cause problems in a successful meeting. Try asked for a recorder (but make sure you give the recorder a chance to speak up too!), sometimes you need more than one recorder: one taking notes, and one publicly recording on flipchart/board/computer for all to see. Timekeeper can help you stay on task.What is your decision making method? Decide & announce, gather info and then decide as leader or decide as group, consensus or delegate w. constraints. (SEE NEXT SLIDE QUOTE)Agenda… next slide…
This will help you avoid potential conflicts.
Preparation and starting the meeting right will help avoid conflicts.
Ground rules are impt! Set them up, build an agreement on them, and everyone has shared responsibility to follow. Participants can now call people out on ground rules! This helps to avoid conflict!
This concept can be used throughout meeting and in life. Problems occur in the understanding. Someone presents an idea, people don’t hear it well, misinterpret, have their own opinons and perceptions, etc… then we move forward in meeting and people are in different places. Check for understand maybe restate what was said, does everyone understand this? Then “can everyone live with this?” as you check for agreement. This process will happen many times again and again in your meetings. This build an agreement process will help w/ avoid conflicts.
OPEN:Proposal – “Jim you have thoguht a lot of this issues, can you define the prob for us?” Or “who has an issue/suggestion we need the group to consider?”List – “lets list 4 or 5 things …” Or “ I have a list of potential ideas but lets add a few more”Brainstorm –(GUIDELINES: all ideas are OK at this point, defer judging them, build on ideas) “first lets get all our ideas out w/o evaluating them in the next 10 mins” Clarify – (NOTE: you can spend 2/3 of meeting on this but make sure you do it!) “take 5 mins to review this list we generated. Do any need clarification? Does everyone understand them?” NARROWEliminate Dups – (NOTE: if there are any issues on combo from people keep them separate) “any ideas here similar enough that we can combo them?”Prioritize N/3 - Number of items/3 = # of choices per participant. ‘lets try prioritizing the list to see where interest is.” Can use dot stickers or do it out loud.High/Low matrix – rank items into box matrix with 2 sides for low- high impact and low-high effortAdvocate – “we still have several options…. Lets take a few minute to influence each others thinking… bob, tell us whey you think this option you mentioned is a good choice” This can help people really understand this item and lead to compromise.CLOSEStraw poll - tests the level of agreement w/o making a final decision: “ok lets see how we all feel about this… how many want to continue working in this issue today? Looks like most are - anyone not willing to go another ½ hour? Great!” Negative Poll – reach quick agreement on something you suspect everyone supports: “is anyone opposed to taking off #4 from our list?” Build up/Eliminate – facilitates agreement “what could we add to option A to make it work for you?” “is there any way you could combo A &B to get to an agreement?”Both/And – “do we need to choose btw both options or can we try both?”
Make process suggestions: suggest a better path or process if group gets stuck – can also ask group to assist with this; “we seem stuck? Is there a process to help gets up to our end goal?” or even take a breakListen and watch for: Are the agreements clear?Are process suggestions being followed?Are people asking questions?Are there enough creative ideas?How are disagreements being solved?What is the group’s energy level?Are people listening to each other?
Example of interrupter
“kat – you wanted to know whey we are adding extra hours… can anyone explain why to Kat?“Matt you are bringing up a new issue here. I don’t think we we are finsihed with the other one yet. Can you focus on this and then move on to your question next?”“My sense is not everyone agrees? Does anyone else have this feeling?”“We said we were only going to spend 10 mins on this and we are at 20min? Can we table this and move on?” OR “we agreed to brainstorm now and you are starting to evaluate. Lets stay on target”“I hear what you are saying and its impt, but we don’t have enough info to solve the issue so lets wait and defer for next meeting”Sometimes you might just need to talk to someone one on one during a break or after a meeting
Bracket: Internally acknowledge and set aside your own judgemnt and point of view to hear what the speaker has to say Repeat:“I believe we should stop the project” “ So you think we should stop the project”Paraprse: “There are no better bananas then those from Hawaii” “so you are saying Hawaian bananas are the best in the world?”perception check: “Last months stats were worse than ever before” “ it sounds like you are disappointed. Is that so?” or You sound confused?”Probing questions: Why? What do you hope to gain or fear?Find common ground by realizing the real issues: issue – position – interest (EX: overtime pay – “i should be paid time and half for this” – I want to be treated fairly)Propose options “ruth given your respective interests, what approach to project planning might be effective? Is there a way for you both to agree on a project guidelines and then like jim run w/ it?”
+ (what worked)Delta (what could be changed or improved)
Meeting ManagementMarch 24, 2011 Beth Filar-Williams Mike Crumpton
An Effective Meeting Content (WHAT) Process (HOW) 90% of meeting problems are PROCESS problems. Prepare From @Interaction Associates, Essential Facilitation: Core Skills for Guiding Groups
Characteristics of Masterful Meetings… Preparation Clear purpose, products and agenda Advance notification Right people present People presenting prepared Right information available Start Timely start Purpose and products reviewed Key issues indentified Agenda confirmed Ground rules reviewed
…Characteristics continued Execution Steady meeting flow Focused discussion Positive Energetic participation Constructive conflict Thoughtful decision making Close and Follow-p Decisions and actions reviewed Timely finish Summary provided Follow-up on actions
Parking Lots Issues List Decisions List Actions List
Prepare Why meet? Purpose of meeting? Stakeholder analysis What is your desired outcome of meeting? Products (lists, plans, decisions, agreements) Knowledge (understanding Y… so we can do X) Topics Meeting Roles: facilitator, recorder(s), timekeeper, Decision making method Agenda – send in advance
Develop the Agenda Issue resolution Process improvement Project planning Status meetings Strategic planning Team development
Getting started Start Start meeting on time Review– state desired outcome Agree to agenda Set up ground rules Assign roles if needed Parking lot if needed
Example Ground Rules Start Shared responsibility (everyone has an active positive role in producing results) Honor time limits No disruptive side conversations Listen and consider all opinions of others Be willing to experiment w/ new ideas or techniques presented Cell phones on silent
BUILD AN AGREEMENT From @Interaction Associates, Essential Facilitation: Core Skills for Guiding Groups
Achieving Agreement Run From @Interaction Associates, Essential Facilitation: Core Skills for Guiding Groups
Preventions Run Keep to agenda and keep on track Refer to ground rules Participants can help keep group focused too Ask open ended questions to generate participation Request people reserve judgment Build an agreement (again and again) Make process suggestions to keep flow
Dysfunctional Behavior Approach privately or address generally Empathize symptom Determine root cause of problem or behavior issue Get agreement on solution
Interventions Run Boomerang Regain Focus Ask/Say What’s going on? Enforce Process Agreements Accept/Legitimize/Deal With or Defer Walk near or by person; Make eye contact Talk to them during break/afterwards
Listening & Reconciling Differences Run Bracket your opinions Repeat/mirroring or paraphrase Perception check Open ended questions Body language Ask probing questions Find common ground Propose options w/o commitment Build small agreements
Big Finish Closing Evaluate +/delta Clarify action items Review Parking lot Give acknowledgments Send meeting minutes to all Communicate w/ stakeholders Celebrate accomplishments
Virtual Meetings Advance notice, time zones, limited items Request preliminary brainstorming of ideas Group folks in same location if possible Engage a roll-call list Review ground rules Use round robins Detail summary for understanding
Closing Remember that you are facilitating another person’s process. It is not your process. Do not intrude. Do not control. Do not force your own needs and insights into the foreground. When the work is done, the group will say: We did it ourselves.” Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching
References and Suggested Reading The Secrets to Masterful Meetings Michael Wilkinson, Leadership Strategies Managing Meetings Tim Hindle, DK Publishing Essential Facilitation: Core Skills for Guiding Groups Interaction Associates http://www.interactionassociates.com/services/essential-facilitation