Thursday, August 14, 2008

Advice on how to run effective meetings

Link to Cnet article

For companies to operate effectively, executives, managers, and key employees need to know how to run effective meetings. Meetings are how conflicts are resolved and plans are agreed upon. They are how critical strategic and operating processes are developed, managed, and to some extent, executed. Conversely, ineffective meetings result in lost productivity and frustration. They can also be a sign of a dysfunctional workplace, which can result in operating failure.

Three rules of meeting etiquette
  1. Every meeting has a start time and an end time.
  2. Every meeting is run by someone who is responsible for every aspect of the meeting including agenda, attendance, punctuality, and documentation. That person keeps everyone on topic and moves the meeting along using the methods described below.
  3. Key decisions that are reached during the meeting regarding strategies, plans or objectives should be published by whoever ran the meeting within one day. That also goes for follow-up or action required and an owner for each item.
Five rules of engagement for effective meetings
  1. Listening is good. Gratuitous speech is bad. Silence means consent. Don't chime in just to hear your own voice.
  2. Presenting new ideas or brainstorming is good. Knocking down another's idea is bad. There's a time for reaching consensus.
  3. Attack the problem or issue, not the person you disagree with. "I don't agree with you" is okay, but "I think you're an idiot" isn't.
  4. Stay on topic, but don't beat a dead horse. Save other subjects for other meetings. Use a "parking lot" for important issues that may need to be revisited at a later date.
  5. Be open, honest, and forthcoming. Don't hold back, bullshit, or sugar-coat issues. This is especially critical in meetings where key decisions are based on the information presented.

No comments: