Effective meetings can happen

I know so many people who once they hear they need to attend a meeting you can see it on their face, complete dread and misery. Why do so many people feel like meetings are something to endure rather than benefit from? To turn your meetings into a time that is EFFECTIVE, here are some tips to create an environment where participants can bring their strengths and ideas to the table to make meetings effective.

EFFECTIVE meetings establish the Purpose and Desired Outcomes.
Once you articulate, in specific terms, what you want to achieve, then you can decide if a meeting is the best way to reach your objective.

Never meet out of habit or to tell people something they can read.
Respect everyone’s time, including your own and look for alternatives to live meetings where possible. Some acceptable purposes for a live meeting include:
– Making a big decision
– Making a decision that effects several different ministries
– Working together to create an idea, plan, project or to share information when the subject requires interaction and explanation.
– Finalize an Agenda.The agenda should include the purpose and outcomes statement and be distributed 2-3 days before the meeting so that participants may be prepared. Any background data and information should be distributed at that time as well. Communicate the intent of each agenda item rather than just the topic. For example, activity, information only, discussion, decision. Each item should also have a start time, a duration and a stop time, including breaks if the meeting will last longer than 90 minutes. This enables participants to take the agenda more seriously and work more efficiently.

Free the Prisoners.
Restrict meetings to only those who truly need to be there. Only those who truly need to be there should be invited. Really. Truly. On a need to be there basis. Don’t try and flatter yourself by having a BIG all inclusive meeting so you feel like your agenda is that important.

I will post some more ways tomorrow that I would suggest trying to have those effective non-dread meetings.

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