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Top 10 Must Do’s For Effective Meetings


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Effective meetings produce results. Do you want to learn how to get far more accomplished in less time? Review the top 10 must do's for conducting effective meetings by Line of Sight.

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Published in: Business, Technology

Top 10 Must Do’s For Effective Meetings

  1. Individual exercise  What was the most effective meeting you have ever lead or attended?  Why? What sets it apart? • What happened before the meeting? • During the meeting? • After the meeting?  What was your worst meeting?  Why? Describe behaviors, settings, etc. 2
  2. How do we define “meeting” 3 1. An act or process of coming together as an assembly for a common purpose. 2. A meeting is a gathering of two or more people that has been convened for the purpose of achieving a common goal through verbal interaction, such as sharing information or reaching agreement.
  3. There are many different types of meetings Ad Hoc Issues Status Working Strategic A short conversation with a few people in a hallway or over coffee A possibly controversial meeting with a partner, client, or even patient to discuss multiple options Reporting up to senior staff or a different group that you are collaborating Sitting in a conference room with co- workers to understand status, solve problems, or make decisions Gathering large groups offsite for several days on a variety of topics 4
  4. Imagine no more meetings  How much time would you have?  How productive would you be?  Seriously, would you be more productive?  What do you lose to meetings, especially to bad meetings?  What do you gain from the best meetings? 5
  5. There is a more effective, more productive way to meet  Do more work up front  Get the right people in the room  Gather the right materials  pre-wire any key decisions  In the meeting focus  Stop long tangents  Avoid solving  Assign Actions  Follow up on the assignments 6 It looks like a bow tie
  6. The Bowtie Meeting Effective Meetings start in advance of the actual start time. Agendas, attendees, agreements and more can all be prepared in advance to improve the success of the time together Stick to the agenda. Ask questions to keep participants focused on the purpose of the meeting Most results are realized after the meeting. Assign actions in the meeting, move forward with the agenda and hold people accountable afterward 7 Prepare 30% 40% 30%* Conduct Meeting Follow-up Participate * Percentages vary by meeting type, frequency and duration
  7. Meeting Scorecard! 1 Did the meeting start on time? 2 Were the right people present in the right number? 3 Was a standing agenda followed? 4 Was the Action Log reviewed? 5 Were participants prepared? 6 Was participant attention focused? (no sidebar conversations or cell phones)? 7 Leader managed time; people stuck to topic? 8 Open and honest conversation? 9 Issues constructively challenged? 10 Did the meeting end on time? Total Score Yes 2 Somewhat 1 No 0
  8. When asked to conduct a meeting, first ask…  How else could the result be accomplished?  Look at it critically  Respect your time; respect their time 9
  9. Preparing the Bowtie Meeting  Agreement on objectives with the meeting sponsor  Send the agenda and materials in advance  Clarify why we are meeting and what will we accomplish?  Avoid negative surprises  Meet in advance with key stakeholders to present relevant information that might startle them (aka, pre-wiring a meeting) 10 Prepare Follow-up Participate Conduct Meeting
  10. Plan your meetings well using an agenda as your roadmap 1. Clarify the purpose 2. Invite (just) the right participants 3. Develop a specific agenda 4. Prepare and share materials in advance 11
  11. Conduct a Bow-tie Meeting Most people are familiar with running a meeting, but the Bow-tie format focuses more on results and capturing actions to complete after the meeting ends 12 Prepare Conduct Meeting Follow-up Participate
  12. A strong agenda makes conducting easy  Effective agendas offer clear durations for topics and activities  Assign specific roles  A timekeeper  A scribe or note keeper  Respect people’s time  Focus on Results 13
  13. Results ≠ Time  Not all meetings need to be 60 minutes  Just because digital calendars default to 30- minute increments  One week, ask for a 30 minute meeting and see what is different  Conversations need to lead to results  If people want to “catch-up” schedule a separate, more informal session such as a shared lunch 14
  14. Meeting guidelines help set standards for behaviors  Be prepared; avoid reading in the meeting  Focus on the task at hand  1 conversation at a time  Minimize gadgets and multi-tasking  5-mintue rule if a topics runs too long  Be civil  Different opinions must be heard 15
  15. Look for data, not assertions  Ask people, “How do you know?”  Assertion - “That will never work.”  Question - “How do you know?”  You may have no data or suspect data  Use the meeting to define what data is needed and who can gather and validate 16
  16. Decide how to decide  Most meetings require multiple participants to come to agreement in the following ways  Consensus – Most agree  Vote – Simple majority  Consult – listen, then a subset decides  Command – decisions do not involve others 17
  17. 2 tools for capture and keeping on track  Set time limits for agenda items and stick to them; when topics run long, stop conversation and capture them on… 18 Parking Lot Tangential topics Lengthy discussions Not on the agenda Action Log Who does what by when Action log reviews should be an agenda item
  18. The outcome of the meeting is often realized after the event  Effective meetings capture actions and items to process after people leave the room; now the real work is accomplished  Keep clear, simple meeting notes  Not a verbatim report, just decisions, actions 19 Prepare Follow-up Conduct Meeting Participate
  19. You can have a positive influence in every meeting you attend  Stay involved  Don’t check-out or try to multitask  Ask questions that bring the group back on task  Guide teams to resolve issues and keep moving forward 20 Prepare Conduct Meeting Follow-up Participate
  20. Participate well  Listen, support, contribute  Keep the meeting focused and on track  “How are we doing on our agenda?”  “Is there an action we should capture?”  “Is this something we should discuss offline?”  Say “and” more than you say “but” 21
  21. Putting it into practice  What will you do differently tomorrow?  How will you improve your meetings in three weeks? In three months? 22
  22. Contact Us Discover how your organization can run more effective meetings today by contacting Line of Sight. Get started today! 23
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