Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thoughts for Monthly Meetings

Brief, on the go, meetings are one thing and larger monthly meetings are another. The latter tend to cover a lot of topics and consequently can waste a sizable amount of time if not properly organized. Some tips:

Do the heavy lifting ahead of time. Complete the research and crunch the numbers so for most topics all that is needed is Go or No Go.

Eliminate fluff. Get to the point.

Put the easy items first to create an atmosphere of cooperation.

Create a sense of urgency in the materials. This isn't a philosophy class in which we're discussing broad concepts. Note the nature of each agenda item as either Information or Action. If discussion bogs down on a topic, move that to a separate meeting.

Attach or have readily available any back-up information.

Don't allow jargon. Require plain language.

Listen for meaning and watch the body language. Who's checking out? Who's not buying? Get their concerns on the table.

Clarify the reasoning and the drawbacks. Tie everything to the group's larger purpose.

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