CADDManager on April 22nd, 2009

There are many ways to have meetings that are unproductive. Confused topics, no prep, misunderstood agendas and more can wreak havoc on your progress. So many of these creep into your meeting attempts and derail your efforts. So let’s discuss some ideas that might help keep your meetings on track.

Start by Setting good ground rules.

Let everyone know what is allowed and how topics will be discussed. You may want to mention that it is all to be kept professional.

Everyone should participate. No one is there to fill a seat. They are all needed and every person has a voice that needs to be heard. If they don’t speak up, they may as well not be attending.

All opinions are equal, but not all voices carry the same weight. There will be those who know more than others and this should be taken into account, but that all opinions should be voiced. You never know where a good idea might come from.

What is mentioned in the meeting stays in the meeting. People need to know that their perspectives are protected. That no one will go outside the group and badmouth anyone based on what is said in a meeting.

Silence equals approval. If the team does not take a vote then those who may not have spoken up will grant that they agree with the majority. If someone does not speak up, it is assumed that they agree with what is going on.

No sidebar conversations. Everyone is to stay on topic and together on the issue at hand.

No subgroups or teaming up to get additional leverage, unless the full group commissions small teams to define topics.  No one should be making pacts to get certain issues advanced. Every person on the team has an equal voice and the conversations should involve the entire team. Having people work out their perspectives jointly limits the individual input of all members.

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