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ABCs of Effective Meetings

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ABCs of Effective Meetings ABCs of Effective Meetings Presentation Transcript

  • The ABC’s Of Effective Meetings
    Bill Taylor
    Northeast Community Development Educator
    UW Cooperative Extension Service
    The University of Wyoming is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.
  • INGREDIENTS
    Adequate planning and preparation
    Behaviors that foster group interaction
    Communication, the key to success
    2
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
  • Adequate planning & preparation
    Purpose of the meeting – what you hope to accomplish
    Formal board, organization or club
    Set and monitor policies and procedures
    Fiscal oversight
    Hire, direct and evaluate Executive Director
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    3
  • Adequate planning & preparation (cont.)
    Purpose of the meeting – what you hope to accomplish (cont.)
    Public meetings
    Gather input – network, generate ideas, solve problems
    Planning – develop action agenda
    Announce decisions – answer questions
    Monitor progress – make adjustments to the plan
    Celebrations – recognize people’s contributions/accomplishments
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    4
  • Adequate planning & preparation (cont.)
    Who should attend?
    People affected by potential actions decided at the meeting
    People with knowledge and experience in the topics to be considered (strive to gather a variety of perspectives)
    Decision makers, i.e. public officials if governmental support is needed
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    5
  • Adequate planning & preparation (cont.)
    Structure – how to conduct the meeting to best accomplish the purpose, i.e. guest speakers, videos, brainstorming sessions, panel sessions, discussion groups, demonstrations, etc.
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    6
  • Adequate planning & preparation (cont.)
    Determine time and place
    Time, start, and length of meeting
    Optimum one hour, maximum two hours
    If longer than two hours be sure to include breaks
    Place
    Determine any special needs of attendees
    Maximize convenience for attendees
    Strive to meet in a facility that meets your needs
    Will vary according to group processes you use
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    7
  • Adequate planning & preparation (cont.)
    Prepare and distribute a meeting agenda prior to the meeting
    Bring extra copies to the meeting
    If a governmental board (elected or appointed):
    Know and follow “open meeting” laws
    Bylaws or instructions from appointing authority should describe scope and role of board members
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    8
  • Agenda
    Should include:
    Strategic topics to address in that meeting
    Specification of how each topic is to be addressed in that meeting
    i.e. make a decision, assign further research, etc.
    Specific times to address each topic
    Agendas should be carefully designed and then closely facilitated
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    9
  • Agenda (cont.)
    Components
    Title & purpose of meeting
    Any opening ceremonies
    Pledge to flag, etc.
    Introductions
    Approval of agenda
    Reading & approval of previous meeting minutes
    Treasurer’s report
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    10
  • Agenda (cont.)
    Components (cont.)
    Committee reports
    Announcements
    Old business
    Items carried forward from last session
    New business
    Discussion items
    Process to use
    Who will lead activity
    May include time allotted
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    11
  • Agenda (cont.)
    Components (cont.)
    Executive sessions
    Breaks
    Next meeting date, time, location
    Any other major items to come before the meeting
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    12
  • Agenda Questions
    Questions to ask before preparing the agenda:
    Are the minutes ready?
    Is treasurer’s report ready?
    Any proposals or reports from officers?
    Any proposals or reports from standing or special committees?
    Items not reached during last meeting?
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    13
  • Agenda Questions (cont.)
    Questions to ask before preparing the agenda (cont):
    Items postponed from last meeting?
    Anything on annual planning calendar?
    What items support the strategic plan?
    Does this meeting promote progress toward the group’s mission?
    Are there any surprises that might be in the wind?
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    14
  • Types of Agendas
    See pages 18-19 of County-Appointed Board Member Handbook for discussion of five types of agendas
    Review “Consent Agenda” for legal process to shorten meeting time in handling repetitive and uncontroversial items. See Handbook and handout.
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    15
  • Behaviors that foster group interaction
    Establish and follow ground rules
    Determine decision-making process
    Unanimity
    Consensus
    Majority vote
    Super majority
    Simple majority
    Minority report
    Etc.
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    16
  • Ground Rules
    Those rules which will preserve respect, civility and progress within the meeting
    Examples:
    Arrive and start on time
    Be prepared
    Everyone participates
    Stick to the agenda
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    17
  • Ground Rules (cont.)
    Examples (cont.)
    Focus discussion on agenda topics
    Listen to understand
    Respect different view points
    End on time
    No side bar conversations
    No interruptions
    Turn cell phones off
    Work toward group goals
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    18
  • Behaviors that foster group interaction (cont.)
    Formal board positions
    Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, etc.
    Know the responsibilities of your leadership role
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    19
  • Informal Group Roles
    Leader/facilitator
    Develop and deliver agenda
    Oversee logistics, i.e. date, time, location, facilities, speakers, equipment, notification/promotions, etc.
    Determine group process techniques to use
    Start the meeting on time
    Assign meeting roles
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    20
  • Informal Group Roles (cont.)
    Leader/facilitator (cont.)
    Ensure development and application of “ground rules”
    Encourage involvement
    Seek input about effectiveness of meeting
    End the meeting on time
    Ensure follow-up, i.e. completion and delivery of meeting notes, track action agenda, etc.
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    21
  • Informal Group Roles (cont.)
    Scribe
    Record decisions and actions of the group (not a transcript of the entire discussion)
    For action items, determine:
    What is to be accomplished
    Who is involved (particularly who is providing leadership for the effort)
    Are there any particular resources required
    Estimated completion date
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    22
  • Informal Group Roles (cont.)
    Scribe (cont.)
    Confirm notes at end of the meeting
    Complete and deliver notes to the leader in timely fashion (one day)
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    23
  • Informal Group Roles (cont.)
    Recorder
    Use the words of the participants and confirm you have captured their comment
    Place a date and page number on each page
    If requested, transcribe the charts and deliver in a timely fashion to the leader
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    24
  • Informal Group Roles (cont.)
    Timekeeper
    Prior to start of meeting
    Become familiar with the agenda
    Determine how the discussion leader(s) would prefer to receive time warnings
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    25
  • Informal Group Roles (cont.)
    Timekeeper (cont.)
    If allotted time expires prior to conclusion of agenda item, notify leader & help determine how to proceed
    Table item to another meeting
    Extend time
    Determine where to take time from
    Other item, break, etc.
    Maintain friendly approach & allow some flexibility
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    26
  • Informal Group Roles (cont.)
    Gatekeeper
    Prior to start of meeting
    Become familiar with agenda
    Post “Parking Lot” or “Idea Bin” flipchart where everyone can see it
    If off-agenda item comes up, politely point out to group and see if there is agreement to move it to the parking lot.
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    27
  • Informal Group Roles (cont.)
    Gatekeeper (cont.)
    Common off-agenda discussions
    Continuing discussion after agreement
    “War stories” – anecdotes & histories not critical to a decision
    “Gripe session” – focus about complaining rather than solutions
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    28
  • Behaviors that foster group interaction (cont.)
    Use appropriate group processes to achieve the purpose of the meeting
    Group discussion
    Brainstorming
    Nominal group process
    Role playing
    Etc.
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    29
  • Group Decision Making
    Unanimous agreement
    Everyone must agree and everyone has a veto
    Used for highly important items where the board feels they cannot proceed unless all are in agreement
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    30
  • Group Decision Making (cont.)
    Consensus
    Group interactions designed to reach conclusions everyone can agree on or live with
    Consensus does not mean everyone agrees on every point, but that all support the final decision
    This means nosabotage or undercutting afterwards
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    31
  • Group Decision Making (cont.)
    Consensus (cont.)
    Consensus process built through
    Full participation
    Mutual understanding
    New thinking
    Inclusive solutions
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    32
  • Group Decision Making (cont.)
    Consensus (cont.)
    Requires:
    A common purpose
    Willingness to share power
    Informed consent
    A strong agenda
    A facilitator – a “servant leader”
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    33
  • Group Decision Making (cont.)
    Consensus (cont.)
    Stages:
    Introduction
    Focuses on proposal & only on questions about content, not merits – the facts
    Discussion
    1st – of broad principles behind the idea to clarify what is being proposed
    2nd – discussion & resolution of concerns
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    34
  • Group Decision Making (cont.)
    Consensus (cont.)
    Stages (cont.)
    Decision
    No votes taken
    Each participant has 3 options
    To Block
    • Participant wishes to prevent the decision from going forward for the time being
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    35
  • Group Decision Making (cont.)
    Consensus (cont.)
    Stages (cont.)
    Decision (cont.)
    Stand aside
    • Cannot personally support the proposal, but feels it would be acceptable for the rest of the group to adopt
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    36
  • Group Decision Making (cont.)
    Consensus (cont.)
    Stages (cont.)
    Decision (cont.)
    Give consent
    • Not every participant in total agreement
    • Each person is willing to support the decision & stand in solidarity w/ the group despite any disagreements
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    37
  • Group Decision Making (cont.)
    Consensus (cont.)
    Helps identify broader set of solutions which increase potential of creating sustainable agreements
    Building true consensus generally requires greater time and energy
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    38
  • Group Decision Making (cont.)
    Consensus (cont.)
    The more challenging the decision, i.e.
    overall importance,
    longevity of the results,
    complexity of the issue, and
    need for stakeholder buy-in,
    the greater the need for support.
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    39
  • Group Decision Making (cont.)
    Voting
    Majority (one more than half of those voting)
    Super majority (some percentage greater than one over half)
    May provide an option for a dissenting opinion
    Other processes
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    40
  • Group Decision Making (cont.)
    Process used may vary with item of business or type of meeting called
    May be determined by policies and procedures, board decision, suggestion of chair
    Key – determine process before conflict/disagreement emerges
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    41
  • Communication:The key to success
    Prior to the meeting
    1 week to 3 days prior
    Send out agenda, ground rules, other materials to review
    Personal contact
    If 1st meeting or change in date/time/location
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    42
  • Communication:The key to success (cont.)
    During the meeting
    Introductions
    Build or review group’s ground rules
    Team building activities
    Processes to encourage and monitor participation
    Closing comments (benefits, concerns, action items), etc.
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    43
  • Communication:The key to success (cont.)
    Following meeting, send out:
    Minutes (major decisions, action items)
    Group memory of meeting process (flip chart notes)
    Resource materials identified during meeting
    Reminders about action agenda, responsibilities, timelines, etc.
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    44
  • Minutes Include:
    Kind of meeting
    Date
    Place
    Starting time
    Members present and absent
    Presiding officer
    Reading & approval of past minutes
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    45
  • Minutes Include (cont.):
    Balance of treasurer’s report
    Name of member introducing motion
    Action taken on motion
    Vote, if counted
    Other actions/items which affect body
    Adjournment and time
    Secretary’s name and/or signature
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    46
  • The ABC’s of Effective Meetings
    Adequate planning and preparation
    Behaviors that foster group interaction
    Communication, the key to success
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    47
  • Resources
    Basic Guide to Conducting Effective Meetings, Carter McNamara
    Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, Sam Kaner
    How to Make Meetings Work, Michael Doyle & David Straus
    Mediation and Facilitation Training Manual, Mennonite Conciliation Service
    Time and Meeting Management Skills, Marlene K. Rebori, Community and Organizational Development Specialist, University of Nevada, Reno
    University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
    48