Who’s In Charge of Your Meeting?

Do any of these things happen at your meetings?

* People arrive late

* people leave early

* someone yells BINGO in mid-meeting

* People are unprepared

* A key person is absent

* Someone asks for a pencil or pen

* People mysteriously get paged midway through and leave in droves

Before you blame others it’s entirely possible the fault resides with you, the caller of the meeting. As the facilitator, leader or organizer of the meeting you are ultimately responsible for everything that does and doesn’t happen in your meeting. What are you doing right? What are you doing wrong?

Allergic to Meet?

Here are 7 things to do before you hold your next meeting:

1. Ask yourself if it’s really needed. Can goals be achieved by e-mail, fax, memo or conference call instead of a meeting?

2. Identify who needs to be there and who doesn’t. Respect everyone’s time.

3. Set the time, location, duration, agenda items and purpose (!) for the meeting.

4. Publicize it in advance to insure full attendance.

5. Call out responsibilities for the meeting in advance so all can prepare accordingly.

6. Set the environment for optimal success. Room layout, supplies, temperature, etc. all contribute to success/failure of meetings.

7. Incent attendance through food, fun or other Meeting Room Equipment enticements.

About Your Published Agenda:

1. Is the purpose of your meeting documented in your Agenda?

2. Do you have names next to each item to denote responsibility?

3. Are time windows associated with each item?

4. Do you make clear what is to be discussed vs. what is to be decided?

Ready, Set, Meet

Here are seven tips to follow at your meeting:

1. Start on time.

2. Don’t start over when latecomers arrive, or take time to recap what they missed.

3. Set the proper tone through your opening remarks.

4. Remind people of the purpose, goals and expectations for the meeting at its outset.

5. When calling on others for their reports you may preface their remarks with your own to frame their contributions, orient listeners.

6. Keep at firm grip on the timing of your meeting. As necessary you can ask for a summary, refer items to committee, request a written report or simply table longwinded discussions as necessary.

7. End on time!

Make parliamentary procedure your friend

You don’t have to be a Parliamentarian to invoke the following procedural phrases:

I (hereby) call this meeting to order .. To officially start the meeting

Let’s table that .. Suspend discussion of the topic (or motion) at hand indefinitely.

Point of information .. Nice way of asking for clarification at any time.

Point of clarification .. Ask at any time when you are confused.

I call for the question .. It’s time to address the previous question

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