It is a rare person who wants to attend a meeting. Those who do not want to attend have a variety of reasons: waste of time, won’t learn anything, wanting to avoid being assigned tasks, aren’t meeting their deadlines, lack of participation, boring, been there, done that!!
We’ve all attended meetings that have fulfilled one or more of those concerns. But, it doesn’t have to be like that – and I can show you how to increase the attendees’ participation and engagement!
Increasing engagement is equal parts prep work and pre-work. Prep work includes creating a structured meeting environment. Prepare an agenda, which includes expected outcomes, timeframes, and action items. It’s also important to start on time and start with activities that generate interest right at the beginning. In addition to preparing the agenda, it’s critical that you distribute it with enough lead time for attendees to come prepared and primed to engage!
When you design pre-work to be completed before the meeting, the finished work will help you streamline your meeting and start the engagement. “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” Let the participants know that they will save time, and the meeting will go much quicker if they have completed the pre-work prior to the meeting.
Authors Danuta McCall and Julia Young of Facilitate.com offer “6 Ways to Make Pre-Work Compelling”, that ensures you not only have meeting attendees, but meeting participants! Their recommendations include:
To ensure order during your meeting, draft “rules of engagement” that attendees commit to follow. Part of making it fun can include surveys and polls taken during the course of the meeting. Think of it as taking the pulse of the attendees. Allow time for questions and discussion to check for understanding.
Follow the guidelines outlined above for more effective meetings. Attendees are more likely to attend and participate if they have invested their own time and energy prior to the meeting. Give them that opportunity!
References for this article include:
MacNamara, Carter, “Guidelines to Conducting Effective Meetings”, adapted from the Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision, http://managementhelp.org/misc/meeting-management.htm#anchor632336, May 14, 2012
McCall, Danuta and Young, Julia, “6 Ways to Make Pre-Work Compelling”, Designing Productive Virtual Meetings Series. www.Facilitate.com , May 14, 2012.
–Joy Bolluyt, Owner, President and Lead Consultant of Manageta. “Command Your Vision … Experience the Power of a Team!”
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Joy A. Bolluyt © Copyright 2012. WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include: Joy Bolluyt, Owner, President and Lead Consultant, Manageta, is an online business consultant, certified online business manager and virtual teaming expert. She works with highly motivated consultants, business owners, and entrepreneurs that want to GROW their business and take back their LIFE! To schedule a complimentary consult, go to https://my.timedriver.com/L4B6G and visit Blog: http://manageta.com