and poof! a great meeting appears

originally uploaded to flickr by amanky

it’s not a secret that i love to think/talk/blog/tweet about how to lead successful meetings.

i may actually be a tad-bit obsessed with the whole subject, and i promise to get help from my therapist as soon as i’m done writing this post on how to lead successful meetings in 3 easy steps!

step 1: identify

when you are leading a meeting, work hard to identify these key things prior to the meeting:

identify the goal of the meeting

identify the participants of the meeting (and why they are invited – what do you hope each person will contribute?)

identify the length of the meeting

identify the type of meeting [this is a helpful chart for identifying the type of meeting]

identify (and prepare) the agenda [this is my favorite agenda template for tactical meetings]

by identifying these things prior to the meeting and then communicating them to your participants – you establish clear expectations. when clear and common expectations are established, you set the stage for each person to contribute his/her best.

step 2: honor

when you are leading the meeting, work hard to honor the identified goals, agenda, length and roles of each participant. this is where i most often witness meetings gone wrong. do not let the meeting stray; off topic, off agenda, side conversations, and meetings that run over time are dishonoring to the group.  honor the agenda, honor the participants, honor the length of the meeting, and you will witness a successful meeting.

step 3: participate

encourage all team members to be fully present in the meeting, and on a side note: if computers are present – they should be used for purposes that will directly affect the meeting. i’ve been to plenty of meetings where participants were allowed (and by allowed i mean it was never addressed by the leader) to tune out, be distracted, or not fully contribute to the conversation during the actual meeting. as the leader, you’ve invited each participant for a specific reason – so do everything you can to lead so that everyone can give their very best.

3 steps: identify, honor and participate, and just like that –  poof! a great meeting appears!


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