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Once & For All: Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work

Posts Tagged ‘How to plan a meeting’

7 Quick Tips for Leading Meetings

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Do you only have a minute to spare? Need a few quick tips for leading your next meeting? Check out the tips below!Effective Meeting Training

1. Be Very Clear on the Purpose of the Meeting
Before your meeting, set goals and decide upon the specific objective for the upcoming meeting. Identify the desired outcome for each agenda item to be discussed. Doing this will clarify what needs to be accomplished during the meeting.

2. Begin Small Meetings with Introductions
First introduce yourself and thank people for coming to the meeting. Review the proposed agenda for the attendees. Briefly explain each item, so people understand what the agenda topics mean and point out the time limit. Ask if there are any questions. Doing this provides structure to the meeting and communicates to the attendees that the meeting has a schedule and a defined set of goals that must be accomplished.

3. Involve As Many People As Possible During the Meeting
Ask silent people for their opinions, call on a variety of people, and don’t allow nonstop talkers to monopolize the discussion – everyone will appreciate it. Having a variety of people contributing not only creates an interesting discussion but also promotes a more in-depth discussion. The more perspectives that are involved, the better your group’s decisions. Making an effort to involve all participants also moves people from a passive to an active role.

4. Make Sure Everyone Understands What’s Going On
Throughout the discussion, it’s a good idea to clarify and summarize what’s happening. This shows consideration for all of your meeting participants and helps maintain focus during the meeting.

5. Remember That Time Is Important
Disorganized and unexpectedly long meetings can demoralize people. Try to put time limits on each agenda item and select a timekeeper. Keep the meeting moving and adhere to the schedule dictated by the agenda. Otherwise, your meeting will go overtime and the attendees will become frustrated.

6. Assign Action Items
When action items arise from the meeting discussion, assign them immediately. Select an individual, a priority level and a due date for the action item. This way, no items will be forgotten or left unassigned. You’ll likely get some volunteers to help fulfill any remaining action items. Naturally, everyone wants to be helpful and cooperative in front of their peers! (more…)

Meetings that Matter: A Four-Step Model for Creating an Effective Learning Environment

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

I have a theory that if I listen well enough, everything I need to know about business I can learn from my kids.

The latest example involved a simple truth about why adults hate business meetings, and it inspired me to share some thoughts on how to take the pain out of corporate get-togethers, including training sessions, and turn them into gatherings people leave saying, “That was a fabulous use of our time, money and energy.”

When my daughter started high school, she came down heavy on one of her teachers in critiquing one of her classes for me: “All he does is talk. He never lets us do anything.” Keep in mind this is a course she wanted to take and a subject she wants to master. The pain is complicated by disappointment.
I’ve felt the same way when leaving many seminars and training sessions – well-intentioned affairs with too much talk and too little do.

So I developed a process I call LOOP Learning (Linkage, Obstacles, Opportunities, Plans) because it helps create sessions designed with real-world business issues in mind, and because it actively involves people learning about and dealing with those issues.

First, I abide by the need for good meetings and training sessions to be built around a well-developed agenda, an agreed-upon schedule and a group commitment to keep on track. But I’ve discovered four things more fundamental that, if accomplished, create high-energy, highly productive meetings:

Linkage. A vital early step is to make sure the session creates a sense of ownership in the participants about why they are together, and to assure the agenda connects to a specific business issue. Help people answer the question, “Why is this important – to me, to our team and to the company?” Linkage lifts responsibility for the challenge off the shoulders of “the boss” or the trainer who called the session and shares it with everyone in the room.

Obstacles. Sometimes the most important thing you can do in a meeting or training session is identifying what´s blocking your goals. Acknowledge there are barriers, and examine the risk in not overcoming them and of not challenging the status quo.

Opportunities. Once people understand the challenge and the barriers, turn them loose on generating ideas for improving, changing and innovating current successes and creating new possibilities for growth and success. An important element of identifying opportunities is to challenge the mindset that there is only one right way to do things. It’s critical to keep asking questions, knowing that solutions always will be a moving target.

Plans. The final step is to clarify priorities and to make plans and commitments for what must be done to achieve the desired business results. Determine who will do what and by when, to move toward the goal. Commitment and accountability built into the learning process help to achieve sustainable results.

The length of a session influences what can be accomplished and how, but in almost all sessions this model allows for a blend of interactive exercises, stories, activities, video vignettes, music, metaphors and illustrations related to the business objective. Perhaps the only “rule” for using LOOP Learning gets back to my daughter’s lesson: Give people plenty of chances to talk to each other and share ideas about how to deal with the challenge.

The objective in designing worthwhile meetings is to create an environment that encourages people to think differently, build on each other’s ideas and develop high levels of communication, commitment and collaboration. Think about a classroom full of teenagers. Energy and intelligence abound, as in every work team. When we bring people together, the challenge is to tap them, not to turn them off.

Reprinted with permissions from effectivemeetings.com


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