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Meeting Management In Libraries
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Meeting Management In Libraries


Session by Mike Crumpton and Beth Filar Williams to library staff spring 2011

Session by Mike Crumpton and Beth Filar Williams to library staff spring 2011

Published in Education
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  • 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)


  • 1. Meeting ManagementMarch 24, 2011
    Beth Filar-Williams
    Mike Crumpton
  • 2.
  • 3. Meeting Management
  • 4. An Effective Meeting
    Content (WHAT)
    Process (HOW)
    90% of meeting problems are PROCESS problems.
    From @Interaction Associates, Essential Facilitation: Core Skills for Guiding Groups
  • 5. Characteristics of Masterful Meetings…
    Clear purpose, products and agenda
    Advance notification
    Right people present
    People presenting prepared
    Right information available
    Timely start
    Purpose and products reviewed
    Key issues indentified
    Agenda confirmed
    Ground rules reviewed
  • 6. …Characteristics continued
    Steady meeting flow
    Focused discussion
    Energetic participation
    Constructive conflict
    Thoughtful decision making
    Close and Follow-p
    Decisions and actions reviewed
    Timely finish
    Summary provided
    Follow-up on actions
  • 7. Parking Lots
    Issues List
    Decisions List
    Actions List
  • 8. 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)
    Meeting Roles: facilitator, recorder(s), timekeeper,
    Decision making method
    Agenda – send in advance
  • 9. Develop the Agenda
    Issue resolution
    Process improvement
    Project planning
    Status meetings
    Strategic planning
    Team development
  • 10. Prepare
  • 11. Getting started
    Start meeting on time
    Review– state desired outcome
    Agree to agenda
    Set up ground rules
    Assign roles if needed
    Parking lot if needed
  • 12. Example Ground Rules
    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
    From @Interaction Associates, Essential Facilitation: Core Skills for Guiding Groups
  • 14. Achieving Agreement
    From @Interaction Associates, Essential Facilitation: Core Skills for Guiding Groups
  • 15. Preventions
    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
  • 16. Dysfunctional Behavior
    Approach privately or address generally
    Empathize symptom
    Determine root cause of problem or behavior issue
    Get agreement on solution
  • 17. Interventions
    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
  • 18. Listening & Reconciling Differences
    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
  • 19. Big Finish
    Evaluate +/delta
    Clarify action items
    Review Parking lot
    Give acknowledgments
    Send meeting minutes to all
    Communicate w/ stakeholders
    Celebrate accomplishments
  • 20. 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
  • 21. 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
  • 22. 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