Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Recipe for a Productive Meeting

Recipe for a Productive Meeting

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 meeting goal
    1 definition of scope & timeline
    1 meeting agenda
    4 attendee roles



DIRECTIONS
  1. Define the Meeting's Goal: Decide on the primary purpose of the meeting. Is it, for example, information-sharing, brainstorming, problem-resolution or decision-making?
  2. Define the Scope & Timeline: Map out where this meeting fits in the overall scheme of things and where it lies in the project timeline.
  3. Prepare the Meeting Agenda: State the meeting goal in the agenda title and provide the scope/timeline from step 2. List all the topics to be covered and include a time allotment for each. Pass it out before the meeting and ask attendees to prepare questions.
  4. Assign Roles:
    • The Leader: Closely following the agenda, a leader drives the meeting by introducing each item, presenting facts, identifying problems, suggesting solutions, taking votes and summarizing what has been discussed.
    • The Timekeeper: Unlike a rigid chair umpire in a tennis match, the timekeeper makes sure things progress smoothly. When too much time is spent on one item, he/she kindly informs the group. Timekeepers also announce when the halfway mark is reached.
    • The Referee: A beacon of objectivity, the ref intervenes to give everyone equal playing time. He may need to prod some members to elicit their input and "bench" those that have taken up too much time.
    • The Secretary: Skilled in the art of shorthand, the secretary records key decisions, the rational behind them, and action items that come up.

Rotate roles in your next meeting.

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