Many good leaders are not great leaders of meetings. Perhaps it is because they are often big picture rather than detail and good meetings require proper planning (detail). They may also be distracted by other issues and find meetings to be a distraction. Here is the good news. Leaders don't need to be great at facilitating meetings but they do need to have someone on their team that is.

Here is a freeing concept. A leader does not need to lead their own meetings. If there is someone on their team who is better than they are in planning and leading meetings, let them do it. This other staff member can consult with the leader to ensure they are both good on the agenda. Furthermore, this allows the leader to participate in the discussion without having to lead the meeting itself.

Second, there should be no meetings without defined outcomes, an agenda that is tight and time frames. Without these, meetings waste up to 50% of their time which is a huge waste of time and energy. 

We use a tool called The Meeting Compass which helps us build the meeting beforehand, keeps a record of the meeting and automatically transfers decisions, parking lot items and action items to an execution journal for accountability and better implementation. It has been so successful that most everyone in our office chooses to use it. No I have no stock in the company!

Third, and this is why the tool above is so helpful. Meetings don't mean much when there is not execution on action items. Getting action items done is the engine toward meaningful progress. But without some kind of accountability it often does not happen - especially in ministry settings. Execution is critical and a tool to help it happen is what people need.

Fourth. Good meetings have ground rules. Want better participation and to end on time? Come up with some meeting behaviors that everyone agrees to: no multi-tasking; cell phones and email off; computer screens down unless needed; we start on time and end on time; we leave the room the way we found it; everyone actively participates; we come prepared and so on. Think about how much time is lost when these kinds of behaviors don't happen.

Don't waste your life in meetings. Make them tight, meaningful, focused with participants engaged and you will get more done. Also check out the meeting compass. It is worth the small investment necessary.
  • May 02, 2013
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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