Thursday, April 1, 2010

How to keep a meeting right on track?

1. Follow a predetermined agenda.

If each participant knows ahead of time what will be discussed, everyone will be more likely to stick to the topics at hand.

2.Make sure that the agenda is realistic, and that the most important items are included.

Conflicts can start to simmer when agendas provide too little time to address issues fully, or when important subjects are left off the agenda.

3.Leave time at the end of each meeting for new business or unscheduled items.

4.Let members know they can freely contribute to discussions without fear of retribution.

All opinions, suggestions, and constructive criticism need to be welcome. Of course, this is easier said than done. You need to show support for the expression of views with which you may disagree. Tell members that no one will be censured for an unpopular opinion, as long as they’re trying to accomplish the team’s goals. Try to encourage others to explore such opinions instead of dismissing them out of hand.

5.Encourage quiet, less assertive team members to get involved.

  • When you draw up the meeting’s agenda, allow time for all members to participate.
  • Go around the table and ask each member to offer ideas.

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