Running Effective Meetings Overview

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All you need to run an effective meeting in your organization.

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Running Effective Meetings Overview

  1. 1. Running Effective Meetings
  2. 2. “ People holding specific jobs have to cooperate to get a specific task done…..We meet because knowledge and experience needed in a specific situation are not available in one head, but have to be pieced together out of the knowledge and experience of several people. Peter Drucker
  3. 3. What are the problems with some meetings? <ul><li>There are too many of them </li></ul><ul><li>They are too long </li></ul><ul><li>Agendas contain too much </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings compete with other important meetings and events </li></ul><ul><li>Too many participants </li></ul><ul><li>People who should be at the meeting are not </li></ul><ul><li>People who should not be at the meeting are there </li></ul><ul><li>The meeting is poorly planned </li></ul><ul><li>The meeting is called for an insufficient reason </li></ul><ul><li>Poor meeting leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting ends without concluding the business at hand </li></ul><ul><li>Participants is are unprepared or poorly prepared </li></ul>
  4. 4. What to avoid- Factors that lead to the failure of meetings <ul><li>Lack of notification which leaves little or no time for people to adequately prepare. </li></ul><ul><li>No Agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Wrong people in attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of control – participants have little or no influence on decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Political Pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Hidden Agendas </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of clear consensus or conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Poor documentation of decisions </li></ul>
  5. 5. What makes for a good meeting <ul><li>It has a purpose, all participants know and understand </li></ul><ul><li>It has an agenda organized to achieve that purpose </li></ul><ul><li>People are invited to be there either as contributors or to gain something from it </li></ul><ul><li>Participants understand their roles, come prepared, make contributions </li></ul><ul><li>The meeting is brisk, sticks to the agenda, and accomplishes work with no wasted time </li></ul><ul><li>Visual presentations are clear, sharp, and colorful and are used whenever possible </li></ul><ul><li>The chair of the meeting summarizes what has been accomplished </li></ul><ul><li>Post meeting follow-up is organized </li></ul>
  6. 6. Reasons for calling a meeting <ul><li>To accept a report from the meeting participants </li></ul><ul><li>To reach a group judgment or decision </li></ul><ul><li>To analyze or solve a problem is </li></ul><ul><li>To his gain acceptability and support for an idea, program, or decision </li></ul><ul><li>For training </li></ul><ul><li>To reconcile conflicting views </li></ul><ul><li>To communicate essential information to a group </li></ul><ul><li>To relieve tension or insecurity by providing information and management’s viewpoint </li></ul><ul><li>To assure that everyone has the same understanding of information </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate staff communication </li></ul><ul><li>To get a quick reaction to issue </li></ul><ul><li>To reactivate a stalled project to demonstrate a product, system, or process </li></ul><ul><li>To generate new ideas are concepts </li></ul>
  7. 7. Participants – Who to include <ul><li>Include those with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The relevant knowledge of the subjects to be discussed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The power to make decisions or give approval </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The responsibility for implementing the decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>AND </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others whose jobs are affected by the decisions made </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And those that represent a group that will be affected by decisions made at the meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming new ideas does not require the final decision maker to be in the room </li></ul><ul><li>Cover items that apply to all participants first, then break into sub groups or schedule two meetings if many of the topics do not apply to everyone attending. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Setting the Agenda <ul><li>Limit the number of agenda items - 3 to 6 is good </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t dwell on the past, focus on actions and decisions that will affect the future </li></ul><ul><li>Present “opportunities” not problems </li></ul><ul><li>Allocate ample time – allow time for questions and discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Include sufficient detail in the agenda so that participants understand what is to be accomplished and so they can prepare adequately </li></ul><ul><li>Assure the first topic unites the group and then handle the most difficult items early in the meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Circulate the agenda before hand and invite suggestions </li></ul><ul><li>What to include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Title of the meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time and location </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theme and definition – what is meeting about and what are topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attendees and identify who will lead the meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Topics including a brief title and short description of the problem or goal you hope to achieve. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Beginnings <ul><li>What makes for a positive beginning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can do attitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No-nonsense agenda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An understanding that the meeting will get the job done </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What makes for a negative beginning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chairperson arrives late </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chairperson not prepared </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meeting room not ready </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants arrive late </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meetings frequently interrupted for phone messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants not ready, fumbling their way through discussions </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Leading meetings <ul><li>The basic rules: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know the audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anticipate meeting attitudes and positions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speak the language of the participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appeal to the interest of the participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present materials simply and concisely </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain firm, confident, positive demeanor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speak at a moderate pace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid distracting mannerisms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work to stimulate group discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider everyone’s suggestions and opinions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow the agenda step-by-step and keep participants aware of it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never allow control of the meeting to slip away </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Leading meetings <ul><li>Crystallize main points as the meeting goes on, and summarize for participants </li></ul><ul><li>Qualities required: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of the subject </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presence of mind and ability to think on one’s feet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills to manage and discipline participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stage presence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Calm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Takes the time to prepare a solid presentation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is careful of appearance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidence-by and larger product of competence </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Leading meetings <ul><li>More thoughts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asked open-ended questions-that cannot be answered by yes or no </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reinforce those statements made by participants who were on target with the meetings objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Redirect questions aimed at the chairperson to others in the group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carefully use relevant examples of your own experience to encourage group thinking along the same lines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ignore off target remarks, it only reinforces them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restate relevant points of the agenda if discussion veers from the objective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Firmly put down participants who dominate any discussion. “I understand, see your point. Now let’s hear from someone else on it”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When an “off the track” subject appears important, ask for group opinion whether it should be added to the agenda now or at a later meeting or date </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As the meeting progresses, offer quick summaries: “OK, so far we have determined that…” </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Leading meetings <ul><li>Cautions… Avoid: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resenting a question and showing it. Questions need to be encouraged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting into a discussion and monopolizing it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Playing the role of the comic. A little humor is welcomed though. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Putting a participant down, especially with a personal remark. Take a problem participant aside during a break. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowing an argument to develop between participants. Beyond a certain point it is essential for you to step in and put the meeting back on the agenda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Being confused, unprepared, or not knowledgeable. Coming unprepared is worse than not coming at all. It is better to postpone the meeting </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Leading meetings <ul><li>Opening and closing a meeting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open with a brief statement of the purpose of the meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do not start with a long statement, rambling into the subjects background </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If background information is required ask participants to provide it. Make sure those asked ared briefed in advance so they can be prepared </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do not present personal opinions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Close with a short summary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ from what was said we all feel that…” and ask participants if they agree </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The purpose is to arrive at a conclusion that is agreed upon and understood by participants </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclude with: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Actions or decisions. Relate them to be stated meeting objective </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Review the participant’s expectations for the meeting. Were they met? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clarify what is to happen next, who is to carry it out, and what form the report, if any, will take </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If another meeting is required the leader has to mention it at this point </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assure the participants that meeting minutes will follow within one to two days and will include agreed-upon action items </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Participating in a meeting <ul><li>The primary responsibility is to contribute </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations are to find flaws in poor ideas, expand on ideas, and contribute fresh ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Question the need for your attendance, if you don’t see the reason for participation call the meeting organizer </li></ul><ul><li>Do your homework in advance, understand the purpose of the meeting and the agenda items </li></ul><ul><li>Speak up-when disagreements arise. Inquire about the other person’s view to make sure there’s no misunderstanding </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis should be on problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Do not interrupt the speaker in the middle of a thought to insert a new idea </li></ul><ul><li>Never surprise the boss. If you have a new proposal to offer be sure to review it with him or her before the meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Presenting a new idea: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think it through before presenting it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present the essential thought in the first sentence or two </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show the major benefits and the plus points; and also the weaknesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show how the benefits outweigh the minuses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be prepared to defend the idea; understand it’s vulnerable points; have answers ready </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lay out not only the idea but also possible implementation methods </li></ul></ul>

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