Planning an Effective Meeting

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Planning Effective Meetings

Meeting management tends to be a set of skills often overlooked by leaders and managers. The following information is a rather "Cadillac" version of meeting management suggestions. The reader might pick which suggestions best fits the particular culture of their own organization. Keep in mind that meetings are very expensive activities when one considers the cost of labor for the meeting and how much can or cannot get done in them. So take meeting management very seriously.

The process used in a meeting depends on the kind of meeting you plan to have, e.g., staff meeting, planning meeting, problem solving meeting, etc. However, there are certain basics that are common to various types of meetings. These
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· Note that a meeting recorder if used will take minutes and provide them back to each participant shortly after the meeting.
· Model the kind of energy and participant needed by meeting participants.
· Clarify your role(s) in the meeting.

Establishing Ground Rules for Meetings

You don't need to develop new ground rules each time you have a meeting, surely. However, it pays to have a few basic ground rules that can be used for most of your meetings. These ground rules cultivate the basic ingredients needed for a successful meeting.
· Four powerful ground rules are: participate, get focus, maintain momentum and reach closure. (You may want a ground rule about confidentiality.)
· List your primary ground rules on the agenda.
· If you have new attendees who are not used to your meetings, you might review each ground rule.
· Keep the ground rules posted at all times.

How to Interject in a Meeting

Time Management
· One of the most difficult facilitation tasks is time management -- time seems to run out before tasks are completed. Therefore, the biggest challenge is keeping momentum to keep the process moving.
· You might ask attendees to help you keep track of the time.
· If the planned time on the agenda is getting out of hand, present it to the group and ask for their input as to a resolution. (Also see Time Management.)

Evaluations of Meeting Process

· It's amazing how often people will complain about
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