Push for agreement. Ask helpful questions; for example, "Who is going to do what, then?” Keep the meeting on track. Suggest and draw a visual aid. Ask the quiet ones what they think.
- [Instructor] I've said it before, but you don't have to put up with a bad meeting, or bad behavior by the people at the meeting. And in this section, I want to give a few more suggestions about how you as an attendee can make any meeting better. First, you can help the leader to get agreement between people. Statements like, so are we going to do that then? It sounds like a great plan, I vote we do it. Or so what are we going to do then? We've got several choices, now which one are we going to go for? You can also help the problem solving process by suggesting a format for the meeting.
Before we jump into a solution, should we spend five minutes coming up with a number of possible ideas of how we could do it? Or shall we spend the first part coming up with options and the second part choosing which one we're going to implement? Or we've got several options, and they all have pros and cons which we don't agree on, maybe we could give scores to each option, and then add it all up and see which one comes out as the best. With all of these, it's as if you're up in your helicopter looking down at the meeting and you're thinking could our process be better? Of course, it is what the leader should be doing, but they usually don't, so you can instead.
Another part of the process, is the use of visual aids which I mentioned earlier as part of setting up a good meeting. So you as an attendee can suggest, shall we make a big chart of all the options on this whiteboard? Shall I be the scribe? Or I'm a bit confused, is the layout that you're proposing like this? And draw it on the board. The extra advantage of this is that if you have the pen, you have the power. You can influence the way it goes, which options get written up, et cetera, if you offer to be the scribe.
And finally, you can improve the meeting by asking the quiet ones what they think, particularly if you think they're going to have great ideas, or ones that you agree with. It's another way of influencing the meeting while helping others at the same time. So that's my list of ways you can help the meeting to be run better, as well as keeping it on track, and pointing out red herrings, and asking for an agenda and finish time, you can push for agreement, propose a better process for the meeting, suggest the use of visual aids, and ask the quiet ones what they think.
Is there something there that you could use to improve one of the meetings that you attend?
- Setting up meetings
- Determining who needs to attend a meeting
- Choosing your meeting duration
- Providing reminders for successful meetings
- Facilitating a successful meeting
- Getting the best out of people
- Dealing with latecomers and common meeting problems
- Deciding if you should go to a meeting
- Making your voice heard
- Managing remote or virtual meetings