How do you ensure that meetings are a cost-effective and efficient use of time and resources and not an exercise in Dilbert-style frustration?
Even with the most sophisticated technologies assisting our communications, there are times when there is no substitute for getting people together to get substantive work done. And whether the group is a company’s executive team or a board made up of busy community volunteers, people’s time is far too precious a resource to waste.
To deliver meetings that are worth everyone’s time, we work collaboratively with clients to identify clear meeting goals, design focused agendas, and ensure appropriate documentation of meeting discussions and decisions. This can include:
- Collecting and organizing relevant internal and external materials
- Designing and/or conducting advance surveys
- Determining best formats and participant roles to accomplish overall goals and specific meeting objectives
- Preparing meeting reports with follow-up steps and commitments clearly indicated.
The other factor that makes a great meeting is skillful facilitation. This is a dance that involves using one’s own presence to invite others to a purposeful focus, the ability to apply the right process tools to the task and to the dynamics of the group, and a sense of timing in using challenge and humor.
Stephanie and her colleagues share that gene that gives them vitality in guiding highly productive meetings with groups of all types and sizes. The test of a great meeting is that it helps build the collective will and links between people so that they can sustain the energy to produce results after the meeting is over.