If you are given the opportunity to run a project or are leading a team, you need to run an effective meeting. Most of us spend a week a month in meetings, a huge opportunity to harness the ideas of the group and motivate people to get things done. So here are 3 starter tips to creating engaging and productive meetings:
Stand-Up and Be Counted
This meeting style has been popularized by the agile software development methodologies. Have your team meet daily for five to fifteen minutes to sync-in on status. Try this literally standing up, which gives even the most diligent of soldiers a stake in ending the meeting before they pass out. Each team member takes a turn updating everyone, asking clarifying questions, but not using the forum for protracted discussion.
Make Meetings About New Stuff
Share your status updates before the meeting. Meetings should focus on conversations you need to have in person, such as unblocking issues and gaining a shared understanding of priorities. Taking time to talk about what already happened is not a good use of anyone’s time.
Experiment with Different Facilitation Methodologies
The key to making meetings productive and fun is having a solid process. If you are facilitating the meeting, take this role seriously. You can’t help the group achieve its goals by winging it. Your group needs you to guide them step by step through a process. For instance, if you have big audacious problems, try using SWOT analysis, appreciative inquiry, or cause and effect diagrams. On the other hand, if your meeting goal is to generate new ideas and then make a decision, you can use Six Thinking Hats or Nominal Group Techniques. Most importantly, establish a beginning and an end, and a path to get there. Check out Mindtools.com for a great explanation on these methodologies and more.
Excerpt from “Hitting Stryde: A Gen Y Career Survival Guide” by Daneal Charney and David James Singh. Now available in an e-book format.
Photo: Above photograph used under CC license
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