The second stage in our model for effective meetings is Commencing a Meeting. The discussion groups on Commencing a Meeting comprise a number of topics, starting with arrival and registration covering those all-important first impressions, followed by agendas and then introductions. [read more]
The context of the meeting and make up of the attendees will mak all the difference. An open invitation gathering of people with divergent motivations will be far more challenging to facilitate cogent interactive discussions in a large open space than in a meeting with largely homologous minded attendees. In greatest contrast, imagine the…[Read more]
Also, be careful of ‘forced’ ice breaking. For example where the group leader points to someone and makes them stand up and talk about something or themselves etc. This could be embarrassing and unless it is an addiction group ‘sharing session’ may be inappropriate.
Introductions IMO tend to be in the middle of the organisations culture and the meeting cultures of the people attending. When attending a country with a different meeting culture, don’t expect them to adapt to yours. When they are in your country, maintain your own meeting culture but show sensitivity to things that might be deal breakers.
I agree – a 30 point agenda is not a recipe for an effective meeting. Meetings tend to fall into 2 broad categories: update advice with consequent negotiations/ actions set or developmental where one or more concepts of situations are posed and creative discussions happen with actions agreed to progress those outcomes. In either case, unless y…[Read more]
Interesting points, Ron
I was wondering if people have any thoughts on the subject of setting an Agenda?
My impression is that successful meetings seem to follow an agenda which is ‘chunked’ in a specific way. There are not more than 3-4 broad areas to be covered, and each area never has more than 3-4 subsections, if any. Personally I find few…[Read more]
I agree with most of your points except the one about having a new ’round robin’ on the expected outcomes. Outcomes for the session should have nee explicit beforehand and set for a specific purpose. Attendees should be aware of this beforehand too. Asking for ratification at the meeting of its purpose is a recipe for anarchy , time wasting and…[Read more]
Introductions is an area that seems to have a lot of cultural factors that need to be taken into account. For example, in Japan, there are factors of the highly ritualised process of exchanging business cards. In both West Africa and the Middle East, one may be expected to share details about family and children – and ask the other…[Read more]
Creating a welcoming space in the meeting room can have a surprising effect on enabling people to relax. One seminar I led had an interesting piece of feedback –
“I knew it was going to be fun because there was a beautiful display of flowers on the trainer’s table”
It is often the tiny details that make the most impact in helping…[Read more]
Thank you, Ron
My personal experience is that there seems to be a balance point for each meeting in terms of how specific the agenda points and outcome are. If the points are too detailed (twenty items for discussion in a 60 minute meeting) I have seen just the first five actually getting discussed…
I think you point about clarity of…[Read more]
Thanks for this, Ron
One of the things I have noticed with public meetings is that the level of distraction / diversion of attention seems to increase exponentially with the size of the space and number of people present. Also that the dynamic of the group is effected by the number of people present – opportunities for any form of discussion…[Read more]
If you are leading a business meeting, you are responsible for managing a large number of people and actions and outputs. An effective meeting agenda will make sure you discuss all the necessary information, keep the meeting on topic and ensure time efficiency. The key essentials to creating then MANAGING a good agenda are:
- Identify the m…
Try to have something welcoming at arrival: if a morning offer hot drinks and maybe bacon rolls (include vegan too ); if lunch then offer maybe a buffet. This not only attracts attendees but allows some for some pre meeting mingling, ice breaking etc. Regardless have at least one person responsible for welcoming the people arriving
Try to have something welcoming at arrival: if a morning offer hot drinks and maybe bacon rolls (include vegan too ); if lunch then offer maybe a buffet. This not only attracts attendees but allows some for some pre meeting mingling, ice breaking etc. Regardless have at least one person responsible for welcoming the people arriving and, if r…[Read more]
Try a traditional round robin of introductions around the table but with a little bit more substance – (don’t just get names and titles…ask each to give a few minutes explaining what they do what their thought contribution is on the project and maybe some small personal details to humanise them)
Make it clear and concise at the commencement of the session what you want the outcome to be and say that this will be reviewed and tested at the end. For example…don’t say ‘this meeting is to discuss the situation with delays in the finance project’ or you will get hours of just that: discussion and be no further forward. In stead say, ‘the…[Read more]
Gauge how much ice needs breaking first before enacting a strategy:
- Very stuffy staid serious ethos and attendees will probably be best thawed by traditional round robin of introductions around the table (not just names and titles…ask each to give a few minutes explaining what they do what their thought contribution is on the project and m…
Ensure you have a venue that si exclusively booked out and no interruptions form non attendees will happen.
Ensure you are only using secure networks during the session.
Ask for smartphones to be turned off.
(unless agreed in advance) Leave all papers behind, Meeting facilitator collect them to make sure and take all out of the room when leaving.
Public spaces are not usually ideal for professional meetings as there are issues of logistics ( do you have guaranteed space, seating, accessibility etc) , interruptions ( if its public you cant control who comes and goes around/into your meeting space) and of course security ( eavesdropping, public Wi-Fi networks etc.)
Unless its a social…[Read more]
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