“Meeting” is not a four letter word

At one time or another we have all opened our email, only to find a meeting invite and think (fill in bad word of your choice)

Different organizations communicate and collaborate in different ways, depending on the message, decision or topic at hand.   Under certain circumstances, a virtual or physical meeting may be the best vehicle for making a decision or collaborating on a common objective.    While most meetings strive to be well controlled, brief and focused on facilitating a set of actions, this does not always happen.

Here are some simple and effective ways to ensure that a meeting is a success:
·       Establish and communicate a clear agenda in advance.  This will allow people to prepare properly and will help the facilitator in preventing his or her meeting from being hijacked by one of the attendees.

·      Most organizations have a governing set of rules for participation in a meeting. No biting, scratching, spitting or name calling is encouraged.  Remember everybody has a right to their point of view and all should be heard.

·      If some of those points of view or ideas are beyond the scope of the current meeting, they can be documented in the meeting minutes and then put into a “parking lot” so they can be discussed if time allows or they can become the focus of a future meeting.

·       The events of the meeting should be recorded. Minutes are taken so that we can keep track of the overall discussion that has taken place and who has been assigned which action items.  This is also important so that actions items that involve cross functional groups understand which items each party is accountable for.  Deadlines and due dates should be recorded, well documented and agreed.


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