Posts Tagged ‘meetings’

Meetings outside of meetings

Monday, February 24th, 2014

We’ve all seen it. A meeting ends, a decision’s been made—then two or three people head off to whisper in a dark corner about how they can undercut that decision. Within 24 hours, they often succeed.

It’s called “meetings outside of meetings,” and it’s deadly to any organization. It’s also downright dishonest. The meeting itself is the place to make your concerns known and to give others the chance to do the same.

Of course that requires that a person really has the best interest of the organization at heart. Unfortunately that’s not always the case, so those who DO have their hearts in the right place need to step in.

If you have a concern about a decision that’s been made, and you weren’t able to get it addressed in the meeting, always go straight to the person who can actually make the change happen, and do it immediately.

If you find yourself talking to Stan about what Oliver should do, STOP! You are meeting outside of the meeting. Instead, take the short walk to Oliver’s office, or pick up the phone and talk directly.

Finally, make sure not to tolerate or enable other people meeting outside of meetings. If someone starts such a meeting, walk straight into the huddle, put up your hand, then point toward the person who needs to hear it!

Agreements of Meetings

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

There’s nothing worse than a poorly run meeting—one that takes an hour to accomplish five minutes of work, or wanders in overlapping circles until everything is tabled for the next meeting.

Meetings are essential, but they don’t have to be pointless or painful. The key is to establish effective agreements for every meeting. For example:

Every meeting will have a written agenda distributed in advance.

Agenda items will be actionable—another one that too many meetings fail to follow. That means your agenda won’t include an item that says, “Holiday party.” Otherwise you’re in for a wandering half-hour brainstorm about the holiday party. Instead, you might say, “Choose location and set budget for holiday party – 10 minutes.” Boom! That’s actionable. Things will actually get done, and people will feel good about it.

Every meeting will have a designated timekeeper who will work to keep everyone on track and the agenda on schedule.

Those three agreements alone can transform meetings overnight from exercises in pointless collective misery to a driving force for your organization’s success.