Facilitating an Effective Meeting: Training for Leaders

Facilitating an Effective Meeting-9896d8f3

Facilitating, by definition, means “To make it easier or less difficult; help to move forward.” Managers who want to facilitate meetings (instead managing them) must be willing to let go their control and open to other outcomes and approaches

Managers often think they are able to run a meeting. Managers think they know how to “run” a meeting. They plan the meeting, make the decisions, and do the talking. Although this might seem easy and efficient for managers it is often a waste people’s time and doesn’t tap into their creative potential.

It actually has the opposite effect. Employees tend to withdraw and defer to their manager, who wants to be in control. Managers don’t include their employees in more meetings for many reasons.

A productive and efficient meeting is one that is well-organized and involves all participants. This results in clear actions, evaluations of the meeting and an agenda for next meeting. It also gives the members a feeling that they have been useful.

Are you meeting necessary to generate new ideas or gather information to why should you be hired for this internship? Perhaps it’s all of these?

It’s almost impossible to achieve your goals if you don’t know what you want. A clear goal and a specific agenda are the key to a successful meeting.

The meeting actions are documented clearly in meeting notes. These notes are usually placed on large flipcharts. Meetings are conducted with good time management. Often, the meeting can be completed in less than an hour.

A meeting that is effective serves a purpose. It is a meeting that achieves a desired outcome. To achieve this objective or outcome in a meeting, it is important to know what it is. A productive meeting is one that starts on time, keeps track through good time management, has as few participants as possible and achieves the desired objective.

Inclusion does not mean inviting everyone to the party. Think of inclusion as a mindset. You create a safe place for people to voice their opinions. This is a place where people’s ideas are more important than what titles can (seemingly miraculously) accomplish.

Encourage your team members to make written notes. Research has shown that handwriting notes helps people retain more information, learn faster, and have a deeper understanding than typing notes.

During the meeting, have people take down any questions they may have. Take them all and review them together. This is a great way to help introverts or people who are uncomfortable speaking up and get their concerns addressed.

Divide people into small groups and ask them to complete small tasks or make decisions together. Next, have them share their results with the larger group.

Divide the meeting into sections, with each section or portion of the agenda being led by a different person. Switching presenters can help refresh attention and encourage attendees to take ownership of a topic or project.

You can video conference with remote team members to have valuable face-to-face time. When possible, meet at a time that is convenient to them and allows them to see and hear each other clearly before you start. You can also provide space for remote team members during meetings, such as during an icebreaker or other group activity.

Ask yourself if you can accomplish your goals more quickly by e-mailing or calling before you go ahead with an in-person appointment. Avoid arranging a meeting if you feel that it is not possible to do so.

Meetings are expensive in time and can cause disruption to productivity. Before initiating a meeting, organizers must ask themselves if they really need it.

Ask yourself, ruthlessly, if all of these people really need the meeting. A brief summary via email is usually sufficient.

A half-hour meeting can be reduced by two people who aren’t necessary to ensure that the company has an hour of productive time.

Effective meetings are not only beneficial for productivity but also encourage team collaboration, which can lead to greater happiness among workers.

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