As we close our discussion on on the topic of “Leadership and Meetings” (see previous posting), you can see on this picture how my Department meetings work, which means, we are on the same boat with meetings! As a follow up, I would like to share a few tips on creating effective meetings. There is no question that good teamwork arises directly from meetings, but it is important to remember that good teams have to do more than simply meet! The following practical suggestions may help make team meetings rich and profitable:
1. Divide responsibilities among several team members with different roles: coordinator, facilitator, and a secretary (who takes notes and controls time.)
2. Keep the discussion focused on the agenda and relevant topics.
3. Have periodic meetings for professional development, personal growth, and specific training in areas that are of general interest.
4. Have periodic meetings for the purpose of team social exchange, including a fun social activity (game, play, movie, etc) along with pizza, popcorn, or ice cream.
How to Ruin a Meeting
Meetings can easily become unproductive if the following take place:
Hogging: too much talking by one person
Bogging: staying on a subject too long.
Fogging: avoiding a topic or being vague or defensive
Frogging: Jumping from topic to topic without any closure on any of them.
Flogging: attacking a person rather than focusing on that person’s input
Clogging: slowing down the team by failing to accomplish action items
Adapted from Holpp, Lawrence (1998), Managing teams, p. 111.