We spend a significant amount of time in meetings, and people often complain that they are not well run, boring, irrelevant, too long…… etc. etc. And yet, and when they go well, meetings are how we connect with others, learn, develop, strategize, plan, and take action to move ourselves, and our businesses forward, aligned with organizational goals and priorities. So…. here are a few reminders: you likely already know these, it’s really about making sure you do them :).

And by the way – it’s important, every once in a while, to check in together, and talk about how well your meetings are working. Keep doing what’s going well, and modify what needs improvement.

1) Decide the PURPOSE of your are meeting? (this is the view from 30,000 ft.)

  • What is the benefit of meeting vs. going it alone?
  • What will you be able to accomplish together, that would be more difficult, or have less impact, if you did it alone?
  • What do you want to do together i.e. change, improve, learn, develop, decide, influence etc……

2) What are the broad OBJECTIVES of your team (and yes…. meetings, and committees are teams)

  • What do you typically want to be doing when you meet
    • i.e. is this a planning committee; a department team meeting regularly for updates and learning; a quality improvement team; a team connecting to brainstorm, influence and inform the level above; a project team?

3) Determine your MEMBERSHIP

  • Consider who is connected and interested in the purpose and objectives – if they aren’t – don’t make them regular members instead…
  • Invite  guests/specialists as needed

4) Create your GROUNDRULES/TEAM PROTOCOLS

  • Talk about and determine the behaviours you expect from one another
    • Do this! It’s worth it and helps prevent unexpected (or expected) disruptive behaviours from overtaking your meetings
    • Hold yourself, and each other, accountable to these groundrules

5) Clarify ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Sponsor/Champion – ensure the supports needed are available
  • Leader/Facilitator – keep it on track, moving and relevant – share leadership with the team
  • Members – adhere to the groundrules, do the work, show up – be prepared to step up
  • Recorder – keep important information captured
6) Decide on and Outline COMMUNICATION STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES (i.e. logistics)
  • Meetings i.e.frequency, in person/teleconference/videoconference
  • Email/Voicemail
  • Agenda/Minutes