May 13, 2008

Meeting of the Minds

Three tips for running an effective meeting:
  • have an agenda with a goal printed at the top of it;
  • have a time limit for the meeting, if not for each agenda topic;
  • make sure all attendees are clear on the action items they are leaving the meeting with.
Three tips for being an effective participant:
  • limit your notes to your own to-do items unless you are the designated notetaker;
  • if you are one who tends to say too much in meetings, limit your contributions to three comments or questions; if you are one who tends to say too little, try to make at least three contributions, however small, before the end of the meeting
  • listen! listening is a form of participation that counts twice as much as speaking if you do it well; as an active listener you may be called upon to restate what has or has not been said if the conversation goes in circles.
Three tips for being an effective meeting observer:
  • listen! be aware of the group dynamics;
  • be aware of where the conversation is going with regard to the stated goals or agenda for the meeting;
  • take detailed notes from a "stranger's" perspective; make sure your notes are clear with regard to what has been decided, what action items were assigned and to whom, and what issues remain unresolved.
Planning and running a good meeting--even a short team round-up or regroup--is an art! Running a bad meeting is SO EASY. Have your meeting be a good one!

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