The ABC’s Of Effective
Meetings
Bill Taylor
Northeast Community Development
Educator
UW Cooperative Extension Service
The ...
INGREDIENTS
• Adequate planning and preparation
• Behaviors that foster group interaction
• Communication, the key to succ...
Adequate planning &
preparation
• Purpose of the meeting – what you hope
to accomplish
– Formal board, organization or clu...
Adequate planning &
preparation (cont.)
• Purpose of the meeting – what you hope to
accomplish (cont.)
– Public meetings
•...
Adequate planning &
preparation (cont.)
• Who should attend?
– People affected by potential actions
decided at the meeting...
Adequate planning &
preparation (cont.)
• Structure – how to conduct the meeting
to best accomplish the purpose, i.e.
gues...
Adequate planning &
preparation (cont.)
• Determine time and place
– Time, start, and length of meeting
• Optimum one hour...
Adequate planning &
preparation (cont.)
• Prepare and distribute a meeting agenda
prior to the meeting
– Bring extra copie...
Agenda
• Should include:
– Strategic topics to address in that meeting
– Specification of how each topic is to be
addresse...
Agenda (cont.)
• Components
– Title & purpose of meeting
– Any opening ceremonies
• Pledge to flag, etc.
– Introductions
–...
Agenda (cont.)
• Components (cont.)
– Committee reports
– Announcements
– Old business
• Items carried forward from last s...
Agenda (cont.)
• Components (cont.)
– Executive sessions
– Breaks
– Next meeting date, time, location
– Any other major it...
Agenda Questions
• Questions to ask before preparing the
agenda:
– Are the minutes ready?
– Is treasurer’s report ready?
–...
Agenda Questions (cont.)
• Questions to ask before preparing the
agenda (cont):
– Items postponed from last meeting?
– Any...
Types of Agendas
• See pages 18-19 of County-Appointed
Board Member Handbook for
discussion of five types of agendas
• Rev...
Behaviors that foster group
interaction
• Establish and follow ground rules
• Determine decision-making process
– Unanimit...
Ground Rules
• Those rules which will preserve respect,
civility and progress within the meeting
• Examples:
– Arrive and ...
Ground Rules (cont.)
• Examples (cont.)
– Focus discussion on agenda topics
– Listen to understand
– Respect different vie...
Behaviors that foster group
interaction (cont.)
• Formal board positions
– Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, etc.
•...
Informal Group Roles
• Leader/facilitator
– Develop and deliver agenda
– Oversee logistics, i.e. date, time, location,
fac...
Informal Group Roles (cont.)
• Leader/facilitator (cont.)
– Ensure development and application of
“ground rules”
– Encoura...
Informal Group Roles (cont.)
• Scribe
– Record decisions and actions of the group
(not a transcript of the entire discussi...
Informal Group Roles (cont.)
• Scribe (cont.)
– Confirm notes at end of the meeting
– Complete and deliver notes to the le...
Informal Group Roles (cont.)
• Recorder
– Use the words of the participants and
confirm you have captured their comment
– ...
Informal Group Roles (cont.)
• Timekeeper
– Prior to start of meeting
• Become familiar with the agenda
• Determine how th...
Informal Group Roles (cont.)
• Timekeeper (cont.)
– If allotted time expires prior to conclusion
of agenda item, notify le...
Informal Group Roles (cont.)
• Gatekeeper
– Prior to start of meeting
• Become familiar with agenda
• Post “Parking Lot” o...
Informal Group Roles (cont.)
• Gatekeeper (cont.)
– Common off-agenda discussions
• Continuing discussion after agreement
...
Behaviors that foster group
interaction (cont.)
• Use appropriate group processes to
achieve the purpose of the meeting
– ...
Group Decision Making
• Unanimous agreement
– Everyone must agree and everyone has a
veto
– Used for highly important item...
Group Decision Making
(cont.)
• Consensus
– Group interactions designed to reach
conclusions everyone can agree on or live...
Group Decision Making
(cont.)
• Consensus (cont.)
– Consensus process built through
• Full participation
• Mutual understa...
Group Decision Making
(cont.)
• Consensus (cont.)
– Requires:
• A common purpose
• Willingness to share power
• Informed c...
Group Decision Making
(cont.)
• Consensus (cont.)
– Stages:
• Introduction
– Focuses on proposal & only on questions about...
Group Decision Making
(cont.)
• Consensus (cont.)
– Stages (cont.)
• Decision
– No votes taken
– Each participant has 3 op...
Group Decision Making
(cont.)
• Consensus (cont.)
– Stages (cont.)
• Decision (cont.)
– Stand aside
Cannot personally sup...
Group Decision Making
(cont.)
• Consensus (cont.)
– Stages (cont.)
• Decision (cont.)
– Give consent
Not every participan...
Group Decision Making
(cont.)
• Consensus (cont.)
– Helps identify broader set of solutions
which increase potential of cr...
Group Decision Making
(cont.)
• Consensus (cont.)
The more challenging the decision, i.e.
• overall importance,
• longevit...
Group Decision Making
(cont.)
• Voting
– Majority (one more than half of those
voting)
– Super majority (some percentage g...
Group Decision Making
(cont.)
• Process used may vary with item of
business or type of meeting called
– May be determined ...
Communication:
The key to success
• Prior to the meeting
– 1 week to 3 days prior
• Send out agenda, ground rules, other
m...
Communication:
The key to success (cont.)
• During the meeting
– Introductions
– Build or review group’s ground rules
– Te...
Communication:
The key to success (cont.)
• Following meeting, send out:
– Minutes (major decisions, action items)
– Group...
Minutes Include:
• Kind of meeting
• Date
• Place
• Starting time
• Members present and absent
• Presiding officer
• Readi...
Minutes Include (cont.):
• Balance of treasurer’s report
• Name of member introducing motion
• Action taken on motion
• Vo...
The ABC’s of
Effective Meetings
• Adequate planning and preparation
• Behaviors that foster group interaction
• Communicat...
Resources
• Basic Guide to Conducting Effective Meetings,
Carter McNamara
• Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-...
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ABCs of Effective Meetings

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ABCs of Effective Meetings

  1. 1. 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.
  2. 2. INGREDIENTS • Adequate planning and preparation • Behaviors that foster group interaction • Communication, the key to success 2University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. 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
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. 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
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. 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
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. 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
  26. 26. 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
  27. 27. 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
  28. 28. 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
  29. 29. 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
  30. 30. 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
  31. 31. 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 no sabotage or undercutting afterwards University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service 31
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. 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
  34. 34. 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
  35. 35. 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
  36. 36. 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
  37. 37. 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
  38. 38. 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
  39. 39. 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
  40. 40. 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
  41. 41. 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
  42. 42. 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
  43. 43. 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
  44. 44. 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
  45. 45. 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
  46. 46. 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
  47. 47. 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
  48. 48. 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

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