How Things Can Go Very Wrong.
|Contributor: Jim Kearney 5/13/2018|
So you're running a staff meeting. Half way through your opening remarks an attendee brings up an off topic subject. The member has taken up a few minutes and it looks like there is a real danger of a lot more time being lost. But you want to be respectful and not start the meeting on a negative note. So you decide to let it go on a little while longer.
Just as you are ready to thank the off topic member and push on towards to real topic of the meeting a second person chimes in agreeing with the off topic member. Then a third and you have now lost complete control of the meeting!
The following tip may help to avoid this scenario.
Don't have a meeting!
That should be your first instinct if the only reason for the meeting is to impart information.
Go another way...
Have a meeting only if, as a result, actions will be taken to advance a project(s) or a goal(s) by the participants.
The Agenda: Every business training program or book talks about the importance of having an agenda for all meetings.
My experience has been that the best meetings I have attended had a written agenda distributed prior to the meeting.
The Parking Lot: In the best of meetings some topics tangential to the meeting subject may come up. Don't discourage that. I've always liked using the Parking Lot. It's a place where all topics go when more time is needed but not available in the current meeting. A white board can be used and referred to later if time allows.
How to handle Parking Lot topics:
Take notes / minutes for distribution: Preferably as people leave the meeting. It helps to eliminate this...
All agreed upon actions i.e. who, what, when and all key points agreed upon need to get into the attendees' hands as soon as possible.
Follow Up with the individuals who have agreed to handle an action and check their progress.
Edited - 5/16/2018
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Bad Meeting Inside the Meeting
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