Thursday, September 2, 2010

Improving meetings when you're not in charge

EstherDerby.com's recent post, "How to Improve a Meeting When You're Not in Charge" is a helpful list of ways that you can improve a meeting even before you accept the invitation in your Outlook.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Ask for an Agenda Ahead of Time
When you receive a meeting notice, ask for an agenda. Make your request in the spirit of the best use of everyone’s time: “Knowing the agenda will help me come prepared to participate.” You can also say, “Knowing the purpose of the meeting will help me determine whether I can contribute.”

Facilitate from Where You Sit
A well-timed question or comment has saved many a meeting. Here’s a sampling of tactics that I use to facilitate from the back of the room. One word of caution about facilitating from the back of the room: Do this only if you genuinely want to be helpful. If you’re feeling snide, it will come across in your voice.

Help Others Participate
You can help the meeting when you help others participate. If you see a quiet person trying unsuccessfully to break into the conversation, say “I think Jennifer has something to say.” Don’t force her to speak, but make an opening if she wants to take it. You can also help when a speaker is interrupted: “I think we may have cut Josh off before he had a chance to finish. Josh?” Then Josh can finish his though if he wants to, and the interrupters will be a bit more aware of their behavior.

The article offers a number of other ways that you can help a meeting to be a success and ensure that you're work doesn't pile up at your desk. Check the article and pass it along - this may be a new era for meetings.

What other tips do you have for improving a meeting? DM us @Project_World

1 comment:

winklewitch said...

I like the idea of facilitating from where you sit. I have done so in many meetings.
One caution - don't take over the meeting. A fight for control with the meeting organizer, no matter how subtle, will not make a better meeting - although it might make better water cooler conversation.