And speaking of meetings. Every meeting should have an agenda which all participants receive a few days before the meeting. The more prepared the attendees, the more focused and effective the meeting. Here are some important elements to include on the agenda.
1. "Weird times." (See last post on Killer Conference Call Tips)
2. "Purpose." Why does this item warrant valuable human interactive time. Remember that people at a meeting are essentially saying "no" to many other important things in their life while they spend their time meeting. The purpose should explain to them why it's worthwhile.
3. "Process." What process will be used with each agenda item, i.e. presentation, question answer, voting. How much time will be allotted to each process? "What is needed from the group." This orients people at a meeting to focus on the item in the right way. You don't want one person focusing on criticizing an idea while the real agenda item is just to understand the next step since the idea is already moving forward.
4. "Prior to the meeting." What does the participant need to do to prepare themselves for the meeting. (Thank you Dr. Doni Wilson, president of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians for this one.)
Here is a sample agenda item from Dr. Wilson.
9:14 – 9:34 Project reports Purpose: Update board on the following projects: Licensure effort Process: Presentation by Erin Waterhouse followed by Q & A (10 min) Needed from group: Attention, familiarity with written report (below), questions and ideas. Prior to meeting: Read monthly updates report below.
As a Conscious Communicator always remember the meeting formula: E = P * F
Effectiveness of a meeting is equal to how Prepared participants are before the meeting times how Focused they are at the meeting.
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