Another Use for MeetingsWritten by Steve Kaye
Every meeting is a laboratory where you can observe and learn important things about people who attend. In fact, you can use meetings to identify people who merit being promoted into leadership positions. Watch for:
Is it planned? Effective leaders always begin with clearly defined goals and then prepare plans for achieving them. They have courage to set a direction and then make changes as new information becomes available. They communicate with candor knowing that people perform at their best when they know what is expected. Thus, did person who called this meeting prepare an agenda? Was agenda distributed before meeting? Did agenda tell you everything that you needed to know to work effectively in meeting? If so, this serves as a positive indication of effective leadership planning.
Is it efficient? A meeting is culminating step in a larger process. It begins by setting goals and preparing an agenda. Then chairperson should have contacted key participants to inform them of their roles in meeting, told everyone how to prepare for meeting, and alerted people who may be asked to accept responsibility for action items. All of this work before meeting assures that meeting will progress smoothly, efficiently, and effectively. So, how is meeting going? Is there evidence of this attention to detail?
Is it logical? Pay attention to what people say during a meeting. Do their ideas contribute toward achieving goals? if so, this shows that they're working as part of a team to help find solutions. Do their ideas build upon what others just said? If so, this shows that they're paying attention to dialogue. Do their ideas demonstrate originality, creativity, and knowledge? If so, this shows they’re working hard to add value. Effective leaders possess strong analytical thinking skills.
Quick Tip - Effective Meetings Have SMART GoalsWritten by Steve Kaye
The first step in planning an agenda is to identify goals for meeting. Properly done, goals have five S M A R T characteristics. They are:
Specific. The goal must tell exactly what will be accomplished. For example: During next hour we will develop a strategy to increase market share by 10%. This states exactly what group will work on. Vague goals can cause you to lose control of meeting.
Measurable. This helps you determine if goal has been completed. It can be stated as a number (5 ideas, 10% gain, one decision) or as an achievement (Did we write a strategy or not?).
Achievable. Goals must be realistic for resources and time available. For example, most groups could identify twenty ways to reduce budget in a fifteen minute meeting. On other hand, it is unlikely that a group could develop a comprehensive marketing plan in 30 minutes.