Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Effective meeting rules, part of New Manager Fundamentals.
Even if you know when to call a meeting and who to invite, that doesn't mean you'll necessarily have a productive meeting. Without a clear plan and decent facilitation skills, it is very easy for highly skilled professionals to gather for an hour or more, yet accomplish nothing. Every great meeting operates within certain parameters defined by a few thoughtful mutually agreed upon rules. After initial social interaction cease and the meeting begins, it's useful to briefly note any relevant meeting rules. There is no one set of perfect meeting rules, however, here are several common ideas for you to consider.
First, make rule number one, the need for all members to arrive on time and prepared. Meetings have a palpable and emotional mood. Nothing spoils the mood in a meeting quicker than participants who show up late and unprepared. Next, clarify the meeting boundaries. Start by stating the goal for the meeting and any general comments about the scope on the topics to be addressed. This rule reduces the likelihood of the dreaded Scope Creep. Scope Creep is the unintended and unexpected shifting of direction into topics not central to the purpose of the meeting.
It is also useful to note important, acceptable and unacceptable behaviors during the meeting. Aside from showing up on time and prepared, here are several common examples. Be critical, but also positive. No interrupting others or no unnecessary use of electronic devices during the meeting. One of the most important meeting rules involves decision-making. Specifically, the group will benefit from agreed upon rules for making decisions. First, let's mention what not to do. Don't overuse simple voting techniques.
Voting always has winners and losers. Instead, consider this approach, the single most important method is to strive for consensus through discussion. Sometimes, however, consensus is difficult even in high-performing teams. Ask people whether or not they are meaningfully bought in. For example, a 70% rule; if someone is 70% in agreement, then they agree to support the group's decision. A rule like this allows us to make progress when consensus is difficult.
One last great meeting rule concerns penalties. If you don't follow the agreed upon rules, there should be penalties. Why? Because all great teams know that behaviors have consequences. Think about simple ideas such as having to put a dollar in the team's lunch fund if you arrive late. Your use of penalties can and should be fun, but actually using them is very important if you want a positively shaped meeting behaviors. Meetings don't have to be too long and unproductive. I want you to develop your own version of the rules we just discussed.
When you do, they will help you accomplish more at each and every meeting.
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- Clarifying performance expectations
- Feeding your learning curve
- Building rapport with your team
- Explaining your decision-making style
- Increasing your authenticity
- Communicating proactively
- Knowing when to have a meeting and who should attend
- Coping successfully with your transition<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.