#6: build a better meeting

it’s a beautiful monday: the sun is shining, the snow is melting, and we have another day to build a better meeting. build a better meeting is our attempt at making meetings more efficient and effective.

tip #6: set clear expectations at the beginning of the meeting

most meetings that i participate in usually lack communication from the leader on how he/she expects me to act, or what the expected meeting protocol is – for example: can i use my macbook to takes notes? skype with other participants? tweet updates from the meeting? text my husband? update my blog? research links referenced in the meeting? buy a book online that was mentioned? email as a follow up to the meeting?

oh! how i would love to participate in a meeting in which the leader casts vision on what was expected. something like, “this is a creative meeting. i think we will stay focused and use our best creative energy by not using our computers, cellphones or iPods today. instead, let’s look each other in the eye and create something really great!” OR “today’s meeting is all about suggesting new ideas. if you do that best by looking online, or texting a friend, or referencing a blog – go ahead! use all the tools you can to suggest the best ideas. i just ask that you don’t do anything that isn’t geared towards accomplishing the goal of this meeting.”

have you ever been to a meeting in which the leader didn’t set clear expectations at the beginning but then scolded gently reminded the group in the middle of the meeting what he/she expected? oh! that really bugs me! when this happens i often think to myself, “was i supposed to know this?” a leader can not expect the group to act a certain way when clear expectations weren’t communicated upfront.

as the leader, you can do simple things to communicate your expectations:

  • post the guidelines at the top of the agenda (you can change them based on the meeting)
  • tweet or text your group before the meeting (ex: bring your computers! we’ll be looking online for new ideas)
  • prepare the meeting room ahead of time by setting out paper, pens, and a “no computer” sign
  • include the guidelines when you send the meeting reminder

no matter what your expectations are – communicate them, and together we will build a better meeting! this is a collaborative project – if you’ve got a great tip for building a better meeting, email or tweet me: amy@lemonlimekids.com | @adolan


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Caribou Dan on March 23, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Amy, your affiliate’s marketing (shall remain nameless but let’s call him JW) has paid off, at least for one more vote. And it got me to read your blog! Good luck this round and see you next Monday. -Dan


  2. Posted by amyedolan on March 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    hi dan – thanks for the vote! hope you like the blog!

    and, can you believe i’m drinking starbucks today?


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