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Effective meetings building teams through communication essay

Evaluating meetings Meet regularly We are increasingly spending time alone at the workplace since much of our work is done on the computer. Also, with flexible work locations and schedules becoming increasingly common, it can be challenging to schedule opportunities for face-to-face time with colleagues.

When people experience stress as various deadlines loom, often the first thing to get pushed aside is the staff meeting. Bring people together, even for 15 minutes, to get people talking and problem solving together. It can be surprising how a quick meeting can help alleviate stress and re-energize the group.

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Meetings are no longer just face-to-face. In the past decade, the use of technology — conference calls, video conferencing, online document sharing or webinars — is on the rise and if planned well by using the principles below virtual meetings can be as effective as face to face.

Regular staff meetings can serve to remind employees that there is more going on than their own issues and deadlines and may see opportunities for mutual support and collaboration, let alone obtain vital information from each other.

Another benefit of holding regular staff meetings is to create an opportunity for different layers of the organization managers, employees, interns, contractors to align around current priorities and organizational goals. A common complaint is that employees don't have enough access to information. Regular staff meetings can mitigate this. As for managers, it is a great way to touch base with your staff and get a "quick pulse" about how your staff is doing.

There is a common tension that arises in board meetings between the sheer amount of information that needs to be covered and the need for time to discuss and understand the items in order to make good decisions. In general, most board meetings are facilitated by the chair of the board with the help of the executive director.

  • It can be surprising how a quick meeting can help alleviate stress and re-energize the group;
  • Is this information sharing?
  • Having an assigned facilitator during your meeting can help the group keep to its task while simultaneously paying attention to personal needs of each group member;
  • Sounds like a tough job!
  • Think about how you frame an event so people come in with that mindset;
  • When deciding which approach works best for your organization, consider your objectives, time available and communication processes that are in place.

A chair needs to have some skill in guiding the group to decisions in a timely manner. This means an emphasis on what needs to be accomplished with each item. Does a decision by the whole board need to be made? Is this information sharing? Does the item need more investigation? If yes, does that go to a task group or committee? Are there items that need to go back to the staff?

What is the board's role in any given item or issue? As well the chair needs to be able to synthesize, and constantly reframe or paraphrase discussion points to move the group through the agenda. An agenda is usually best created by the chair and executive director ahead of time and circulated, along with any other pertinent documents, in advance of the meeting with a time frame and expectation of the output for each item. Back to top Planning meetings An effective meeting has a purpose and gets finished in the time allotted.

Before you call a meeting, ask yourself: Is this meeting necessary? Weigh the pros and cons of holding this meeting. A good meeting yields many results; a bad meeting is a waste of time. What do I want to achieve? Get a sense of where the organization is at? You may have several items on the agenda that each require a different output.

Be clear what each items needs. Who needs to effective meetings building teams through communication essay there to achieve it? Consider staff size, does everyone need to be at this meeting? What if someone cannot make the staff meeting, do you proceed with the meeting?

If a member is absent in a task team or project team meeting, you might not be able to proceed given that you need content expertise to go forward — so make this decision using common sense. Do I have the physical space and materials to run a meeting? Is the timing right? Will the right people be able to attend?

  • Creating an effective agenda is fundamental in planning a productive meeting;
  • Create space for all voices to be heard;
  • Be clear on what you are asking for;
  • Bring people together, even for 15 minutes, to get people talking and problem solving together;
  • Bring people together, even for 15 minutes, to get people talking and problem solving together.

Have you considered various schedules? Once the objective s has been clearly stated and the participants selected, make sure to communicate this prior to the meeting so that they can prepare in advance. This simple step will assure that the meeting can benefit all parties involved and accomplish its goal. In busy work environments, we can forget that the participants have as much responsibility to make meetings time-efficient and effective as the person conducting the meeting.

Creating an effective agenda is fundamental in planning a productive meeting. Here are some reasons why the meeting agenda is so important: It can be a great tool to increase engagement and motivation from your colleagues as well as accountability to the objectives of the meeting There are two options in building a meeting agenda: Provide a pre-established agenda for the participants to follow and consider Develop the agenda with the key participants in the meeting.

When deciding which approach works best for your organization, consider your objectives, time effective meetings building teams through communication essay and communication processes that are in place. For example, if you want to build an agenda collaboratively and have time to engage in this process, a shared electronic file can be set up where participants can contribute to the agenda in one place.

The meeting organizer can take on the role of synthesizing the additions and changes into a finished document for the group to work from. For regular staff meetings, you don't have to re-invent the agenda every week. Create a common template that works well for your staff and build on it.

Checklist for developing agendas Think of what overall outcome you want from the meeting and what activities need to occur to reach that outcome. The agenda should be organized so that these activities are conducted during the meeting. In the agenda, state the overall outcome that you want from the meeting. Next to each major topic, include the type of action needed, the type of output expected decision, vote, action assigned to someoneand time estimates for addressing each topic.

Don't overly design meetings; be open to adapting the meeting agenda if members are making progress in the planning process. Think about how you frame an event so people come in with that mindset.

It may pay to have a short discussion around the title to develop a common mindset among attendees. Of course, the most important part of creating an effective agenda is to follow it during the meeting. Once the agenda has been set and you have a basic structure to work from, the next step in this planning process is to consider how this agenda will be implemented and goals accomplished.

Meetings often work better if a facilitator is assigned to run the meeting. They make sure that all goes smoothly, that everyone has a chance to speak, that timelines and procedures are followed and that, if possible, everybody leaves the room satisfied.

Sounds like a tough job! All you need is practice. Back to top Facilitating meetings Facilitation is about process how you do something — rather than content what you do.

Having an assigned facilitator during your meeting can help the group keep to its task while simultaneously paying attention to personal needs of each group member.

If the same participants meet regularly, which is common in small organizations, consider rotating roles so that everyone gets a chance to acquire and develop their meeting facilitation skills.

Five key elements to consider when facilitating meetings Opening — frame the meeting by reviewing the agenda and clarifying roles Establishing ground rules — how will you work together Time management — keep track of time to ensure all agenda items are effective meetings building teams through communication essay and tasks are Evaluation of the meeting — get feedback to improve meeting process Closing —clarify and review actions and commitment of employees Other key facilitation considerations Keep things visible so that everyone is on the same page.

Simply writing the agenda on a flip chart or white board keeps things public. Having handouts of the agenda is fine but can waste paper and gets individuals studying the agenda versus looking and listening to one another. Capture decisions made or next steps on the flip chart or white board. Again, everyone making their own notes is acceptable but can also lead to confusion later if people heard different things. Be clear on what you are asking for: Create space for all voices to be heard.

If you want to capture notes from the meeting in addition to what is taken down publicly, assign a note taker for the meeting. The main purpose of having a facilitator at the meeting is to create an environment of openness and purpose. Having effective meetings is an art as well as a science and it may take some practice and experimentation before your organization finds its own way of working together. By allowing for a quick evaluation of the meeting to occur at the end, you can learn about what works and what needs to be changed for next time.

Meeting's aren't everyone's "cup of tea" - It's easy for people with strong personalities to drown out others during a meeting. Some people need time to reflect on what they've heard - or absorb information better by reading the minutes of a meeting - and may have more to say after a meeting. Remember, not everyone has the same way of learning or interacting with others. Try to take these varying needs and styles into account.