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Productive Meetings


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Created for Grand Vision, Traverse City, Michigan. A helpful presentation for all volunteer leadership. If you're chairing meetings, review this presentation!

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Productive Meetings

  1. 2. <ul><li>Any committee that is the slightest use is composed of people who are too busy to want to sit on it for a second longer than they have to.  ~Katharine Whitehorn </li></ul>jwl associates
  2. 3. <ul><li>Good Meetings are three-fourths preparation and one-fourth theater.”—from Gail Godwin </li></ul>jwl associates
  3. 4. <ul><li>List the agenda topics </li></ul><ul><li>avoid administrative and management items on the agenda as business </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Written work group reports </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Designate time to add agenda items </li></ul><ul><li>Accept agenda before you begin </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t include agenda items which are not ready for action </li></ul>jwl associates
  4. 5. <ul><li>Research the item </li></ul><ul><li>Include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>supporting data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>workgroup findings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>options and recommendations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If appropriate, include wording for a proposed motion or resolution </li></ul>jwl associates
  5. 6. <ul><li>One way to control the length of the Board meeting is to use a timed agenda. To do this, the preparer of the agenda should note the actual start time next to each heading and then provide an estimate of how much time each section of the agenda should take. A timed agenda will allow the Board to re-focus on the agenda if a topic is discussed outside of the scope of the agenda or if participants simply become verbose. </li></ul>jwl associates
  6. 7. <ul><li>Require written reports from committees, if the report is informational only. </li></ul><ul><li>Include in advance meeting packet. </li></ul>jwl associates
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  10. 11. <ul><li>Assures that agenda documents have been prepared and delivered </li></ul><ul><li>Enforces the meeting plan as approved at the start of the meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Assures comfort: Nametags, water, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages everyone to speak. </li></ul><ul><li>Does not monopolize a discussion. If the Chairman needs to offer an opinion, he/she should abdicate the chairmanship to another during that agenda item. </li></ul><ul><li>Convenes and adjourns the meeting in a timely fashion. </li></ul>jwl associates
  11. 12. <ul><li>Distribute at least 5 days ahead of meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Include supporting documents, including proposed motions or recommendations for action </li></ul><ul><li>Put mission statement at top of agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Include the name of the person presenting each agenda item </li></ul><ul><li>Include the action required for each agenda item (review, accept, action motion) </li></ul>jwl associates
  12. 13. jwl associates The ultimate goal of the Grand vision is to create prosperity by making this region an even better place to live, work, and play.
  13. 14. <ul><li>Follow this order: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Call to Order/Roll call (on time!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adoption of the Agenda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports (staff, workgroups, chairman) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjourn (on time!) </li></ul></ul>jwl associates
  14. 15. <ul><li>No electronic grazing. Period. - Laptops closed. Phones off. Blackberries left at home. </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule breaks for people to fiddle with their toys, but fearlessly enforce a no grazing rule once the meeting’s back in session. </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency call to take or make? They have to leave the room. No exceptions. If you’re too busy to be at the meeting everyone else has made firewalled time for, just leave. </li></ul>jwl associates
  15. 16. <ul><li>you, as the leader, can focus on facilitating, </li></ul><ul><li>summarizing, </li></ul><ul><li>clarifying, and </li></ul><ul><li>just keeping things moving </li></ul><ul><li>Note: you should not be afraid to announce things like “Okay, we have three minutes left for this, so let’s wrap up with any questions you have, then move on.” </li></ul>jwl associates
  16. 17. <ul><li>Start on time; don't reward latecomers by waiting for them. </li></ul><ul><li>Decide on times for each topic and stick to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the agenda; avoid hopping around. </li></ul><ul><li>Discourage side discussions. </li></ul><ul><li>Set a &quot;no interrupting&quot; rule. </li></ul><ul><li>Stop, repeat, and clarify the points people are making. </li></ul><ul><li>Test for closure before moving on to the next agenda item. </li></ul><ul><li>Record decisions, action items, and due dates for each topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize the key decisions and action items before closing. </li></ul><ul><li>End on time. </li></ul>jwl associates
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  19. 20. <ul><li>Allow plenty of time for discussion, and follow with an item encouraging teamwork. </li></ul><ul><li>Use a List Serve for the group to discuss items before the meeting. (Google Groups) </li></ul><ul><li>Set the rules: time limits for statements, hear from all positions before repeating contributors, don’t let one point of view monopolize </li></ul><ul><li>Practice good listening: rephrase a speaker’s key points </li></ul>jwl associates
  20. 21. <ul><li>Stay on target - Any item that does not require the knowledge, consent, or input of the majority of the group should be scotched immediately. Close rat holes. </li></ul><ul><li>As soon as the needed permission, notification, or task assignment is completed, just move on to the next item. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t allow off-the-subject discussions, or repeats of previously presented information. </li></ul>jwl associates
  21. 22. <ul><li>Appreciate everyone's contributions </li></ul><ul><li>Give positive feedback - try not to judge or criticize </li></ul><ul><li>Respect the right of each member to take part at his/her comfort level </li></ul><ul><li>Use a variety of open-ended questions to draw people out </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that members take part simply by attending . Don’t dismiss the quiet ones as un-involved. </li></ul>jwl associates
  22. 23. <ul><li>Develop and stick to the group's agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Give everyone an equal chance for participation </li></ul><ul><li>Review the ideas for handling difficult people or situations </li></ul>jwl associates
  23. 24. <ul><li>• Remind parties of interests and ground rules </li></ul><ul><li>• Reframe statements for clarification or to incorporate others’ interests </li></ul><ul><li>• Expand information base, resources or parties involved </li></ul><ul><li>• Don’t make it personal </li></ul>jwl associates
  24. 25. <ul><li>• Acknowledge: “I hear you saying… </li></ul><ul><li>• Legitimate: “Thank you for bringing that up. That’s an important concern.” </li></ul><ul><li>• Deal, Defer or Delegate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>» Deal with it on the spot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>» Defer to another time or venue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>» Delegate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intervene </li></ul>jwl associates
  25. 26. <ul><li>Minutes should be succinct. </li></ul><ul><li>Record all actions. Name the motion/second. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid recording insignificant remarks/topics. </li></ul><ul><li>No editorial opinions! </li></ul><ul><li>If meetings have action items assigned, include a ‘to-do list’ at the end of the minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Distribute minutes within one week of the meeting. </li></ul><ul><li>Include notice of the date of the next meeting. </li></ul>jwl associates
  26. 27. <ul><li>Don’t meet </li></ul><ul><li>Set specific meeting objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Provide an agenda in advance </li></ul><ul><li>Assign meeting preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Assign action items </li></ul><ul><li>Examine your meeting process. What worked? What went wrong? </li></ul>jwl associates
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