5 Tips for Effective Meetings

All too often meetings get in the way of doing our work. Use these 5 tips to make your meetings time while spent.

  1. Establish Operating Agreements
    Purposes: Develop meeting operational norms, Create participatory buy in.
  • Start and end on time
  • Leave your title at the door.
  • Participate throughout the session
  • Use E.L.M.O. (Enough, let’s move on.)
  • Minimize electronic distractions
  • Use the Refrigerator
  • Have fun!
  1. Ask Questions
    Purpose: Elicit information to expand understanding.
  • Use the journalistic questions: Who, What, When Where, and How.
  • Avoid Why questions. Too often they put people on the defensive and frequently produce the answers, “I don’t know.” or “Because”
  1. Encourage Answers
    Purpose: Engage participants in the discussion,
  • Extroverts talk to think. Image – the microwave
  • Introverts think before they talk. Image – the crock pot.

Give participants time to write out their answers before sharing them.

  1. Use the Refrigerator
    Purpose: Have a place for off topic ideas to be remembered so that the group focus stays on the agreed upon agenda items.
  • Ask people to write their off topic ideas and questions on post-its and place them on a refrigerator flip chart.
  • Make sure to read and address the during breaks and/or at the end of the day. If time does not allow this during the session, identify a person to follow up each post after the session and report back to the individual or group.
  1. Utilize Plus – Delta
    Purpose: Provide a tool to quickly and easily gather meeting feedback.
  • Ask the group the following questions and record their answers on the flip. “
  • “What went well during this session?”
  • “What shall we change the next time?”

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