Mastering the mystery of meetings

A defining characteristic of a high performing team is how its members behave before, during and after meetings.

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The success of a team is evidenced by how efficiently it manages meetings

Trust, respect and communication are the essential foundation stones of a high performing team.  Although it is nice if team members actually like each other, it is not essential.  However, trust, respect and good communication are vital.  Although each team is unique, there are certain things high performing teams do - before, during and after a meeting - that lead to breakthrough performance.   

Before the meeting  

Decide what kind of meeting you are going to have.  Is the intention of the meeting:

  • Information sharing (what information and why?)
  • Solution finding (what’s the issue or problem that needs to be tackled?)
  • Decision making (what’s to be decided? who is to decide? The leader? The team? What criteria will be used for making a decision?  )
  • Motivational – teambuilding (why is this necessary now?) 

Discover the Question the team needs to answer.  Make sure it’s the right question that can only be answered by the people you have invited to the meeting. Crafting the right question is the key to an effective meeting.

Invite the right people. It’s all about having the right people, properly prepared to answer the right question. Reduce the size of the meeting to include only those who absolutely need to be there.

Prepare the critical facts, essential evidence and vital data-points.  Prepare the meeting with all the relevant facts assembled in order to understand the context as fully and comprehensively as possible. Avoid context setting by anecdote and assumption.

Provide a clear agenda and pre-reads in plenty of time. Make sure people know what to expect and are able to prepare themselves for full engagement, right from the beginning.

 Determine the roles and ask team members to accept them. The roles are usually,

  • Leader (accountable for the preparation, outcome and follow through)
  • Facilitator (responsible for the dynamics and time keeping of the process)
  • Recorder (responsible for accurate capture and report out)
  • Participant (responsible for content creation and contribution)

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