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At the heart of successful meetings is the aim to inspire the most positive collaboration towards the best possible action for everyone involved. Ever sat through a meeting that was dull, unproductive, disorganised with tempers running high, people talking over each other and no decisions being made? Or one person dominating the whole meeting and making all the decisions, leaving you to wonder why you bothered turning up? Another common complaint is that, although there is a lot of discussion, few concrete results emerge. Most of us can manage sitting through such a meeting for a couple of times, but then start finding excuses not to go anymore. These patterns are very common, which lead to disappointment, frustration, ineffectiveness and loss of group members. Any meeting can be efficiently run, inspiring, energising and fun. Unfortunately, it doesn't just happen. Meetings should be enjoyable, efficient, and build group morale. Usually the most enjoyable meetings are also the ones that are the most efficient and productive. Facilitating great meetings is a challenging task and requires enormous creativity, judgment, innovation and effort. In light of the time, energy and resources expended, it's crucial to make the most of meetings. A good meeting gets work done and also involves, supports and empowers the participants, creating a high level of energy and enthusiasm - a sense of community and connection to fellow group members is the basis for successful group work. These ideas will help in making any type of meeting more successful.
Purpose of meetings
Meetings provide opportunities for: Generally: Meetings are generally called for planning, reporting and decision making purposes. Collaboration: Meetings are an essential link between group members for working together smoothly. Coordination: Meetings improve planning and coordination of group activities. Knowledge: Members need to be updated periodically on current events, business strategies, marketing direction and product knowledge. Innovation: Meetings create an opportunity for brainstorming. Motivation: Motivational speakers can boost morale of the group. Enthusiasm: Enhance members' enthusiasm by inviting them to participate in decisions that affect them. Best practices: Members get a chance to share information, discuss and evaluate best practices. Decisions: Meetings allow groups to pull resources together for deciding how to get things done. Problem solving: Members identify solutions to any challenges they may be facing by bringing a wide variety of voices to bear on the issue.
Fun: Last. . meetings should be an enjoyable respite from day-to-day duties. Developing savvy meeting facilitators in your business is an investment in business success. Acknowledgement: Achievers can openly receive recognition. or direct. Requirements: Members are informed about business requirements. rewards. anniversaries etc." Meeting facilitator: Being a good facilitator is both a skill and an art in content and style. so that each member can develop facilitation skills. to get the most value out of the members' time. Facilitation skills are useful in many situations! Learn from own experience of bad meetings as well as good ones and observe other facilitators. control. Make easier: Facilitation is to help create a space that is comfortable and productive for a group.Goal setting: Goals and objectives can be set. Becoming a facilitator: Everyone can learn to be a facilitator. incentives. or 2007 Achievers' Club. such as: The Top Performers Awards. Questions: Members get an opportunity to ask questions. Designing an agenda: The facilitator must be able to design a strategically arranged agenda. Awards ceremony: Introduce a meeting which includes an awards ceremony and give it an inspirational name. Agreements: The facilitator has to use various methods to make the group aware that they are making contracts/agreements with each other through these discussions and what the exact nature of those agreements are. discussions. Facilitator role Facilitation: "Facilitation is the act of assisting or making easier the progress or improvement of something. It doesn't mean to lead. which one can improve with practice. Training: Meetings can involve mentoring and learning new skills to improve job performance and efficiency. birthdays. Mentor a few junior members to become meeting facilitators. interact. Preparation: Facilitators do their homework so they are informed enough to participate fully in any discussion with energy and attention for the job at hand understanding the tasks for the meeting as well as long-term goals of the group. like meeting goals. awards and gifts. Social networking: Meetings can create a sense of connectedness and are opportunities to participate. a time to just wind down and get to know others in the group better. Essential role: A facilitator role is an important and pivotal role in having meetings. discussed and evaluated. and events of all sorts run smoothly and efficiently. Celebration: Combine meetings with celebrations of successes and special occasions. or Hot Dogs. socialise and network within the group. Team-building: Meeting activities could develop a sense of camaraderie in the group working toward the same mission .it is an opportunity to appreciate and value one another's work. Group traditions: Meetings could establish group traditions or themes that become a group meeting identity. but not the least. The role of meetings facilitators could be rotated amongst members of a group.
Clarify agenda: The facilitator makes sure that all members understand the purpose of the meetings and the reason for agenda items. Assertiveness: The facilitator has to know when to intervene decisively and give some direction to the meeting. it is best to step out of role and let someone else facilitate. appreciation and confidence in what each member has to offer. Listening skills: The facilitator has to be a role model by displaying excellent listening skills including strategic questioning to be able to understand everyone's viewpoint properly. and understanding everyone's view point properly. The facilitator can create committees to help with time-consuming detail preparations. Atmosphere: The facilitator creates a safe and empowering atmosphere without domineering. voted upon and recorded. Manipulation: If it becomes hard for the facilitator to avoid manipulating the meeting towards a particular outcome. Neutral: A facilitator should have little emotional investment in the issues discussed and help the members of the meeting be aware that it is their meeting being conducted. Challenge put-downs and discriminatory remarks. such as decision making.the success of the meeting is the mutual responsibility of the whole group. and where people who tend to dominate a discussion feel compelled to defer to others in the group. Meeting success: The facilitator orchestrates the group to reach the meeting objectives . It is also important to observe members' body language. showing interest. . Respect: The facilitator has to respect all members and what each has to offer .Background materials: Ensure that all background materials and reports are sent out ahead of time and are read before the meeting. Role model: The facilitator is a role model by displaying excellent listening skills. Protect everyone's rights: The facilitator is the protector of the weak and does not allow domineering people to ridicule others' ideas or to embarrass them in any fashion. interrupting. Gain insight: The facilitator tries to understand and gain some insight on how group behaviours are influenced by both positive and negative individual patterns. understanding members' emotions. Each member should be able to answer the question .this creates a space where shy people are comfortable enough to speak. Non-opinionated: The facilitator should preferably be a member who doesn't have a strong opinion on the meeting's topics. The facilitator has to show interest. Experienced: For a meeting with more than 10 people. Group functions: The facilitator does not take on any of the functions that are the responsibility of the group as a whole. appreciation and confidence in members. and past experiences. an experienced facilitator should be designated to facilitate the meeting. over-talking. put-downs or guilt trips.what are we going to resolve or accomplish in this meeting? Meeting process: The facilitator sees that all recommendations are moved. Positivity: The facilitator displays confidence that good solutions will be found and consensus can be achieved.
Focus: The facilitator regulates the flow of discussion towards its aims and discourages sidebar conversations or hogging of the discussion. Jargon: This is used when a member refers to things you haven't heard of. Useful techniques to equalise participation are talking sticks or breaking into small groups. It is also a way for people to comment without having to disrupt the meeting. o Excitement sharing: People share something good or exciting that has happened to them recently or since the last meeting. This frees energy and encourages creativity. Facilitators aim to get all members' points of view and ideas while staying focussed on the topic. When everyone is willing to use them. Focus/Get to the point: This signal is used when people aren't sticking to the agenda. Go-rounds help in gathering opinions. o Go-rounds: Use a go-round to make everyone heard.especially when they may be conflicting. bent and hands outstretched. Good facilitators ensure that they don't use their role to dominate the discussion.hands can then be moved back and forth. as well as slowing down the discussion and improving listening. Go-rounds: Everyone takes a turn to speak without interruption or comment from other people. . help the meeting run much more efficiently. and encourage everyone to actively participate. Ask everyone to use hand signals: Silent Cheer/Twinkle: Silent cheer to indicate agreement . Encourage members to listen to others. by setting an example. Collect and combine all ideas in a list for later discussion. Confusion: Arms out. Throw up your hands with palms upside down. o Decision process: Help the group decide on a decision making process and help the group to maintain focus until decisions are reached. feelings and ideas. Start by stating the issue and ask members to say or write down whatever comes to mind without censoring it. There is a variety of tools available to get the most out of the voices in the room: o Signalling: Utilising signalling helps everyone in the meeting to understand where members stand about a topic. The facilitator will then formalise the group's decisions. Means of discussion: Ensure the members are using the most effective means of discussion to reach decisions. drawing out withdrawn.hold up your hand and wiggle your fingers in the air. quiet or shy members to speak and helping members interact in a controlled environment to get the best possible contribution from everyone. rather than being distracted by attitudes of a some aggressive members. Good at start of meetings as it creates a lot of positive energy and puts people more in touch with each other's lives. The facilitator uses techniques to help everyone to participate. Make sure that everyone gets a chance to speak. especially if you think others haven't heard of them either. o Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a creative thinking technique to quickly gather a large number of ideas.Encourage participation: As a facilitator. you should encourage everyone to present their viewpoints . they can save a lot of time. Bring your hands together in a 'V' shape .
State the tentative consensus in question form and be specific. or basic popcorn discussions to start things off. This means they will not be involved in the decision and its consequences. Summarise: The facilitator will regularly clarify and summarise points to help discussions along. to allow the group to proceed with the action. a group nap. Turn to person next to you: Turn to the person next to you and discuss a particular topic. Formulate hesitation: Listen carefully for agreements and concerns. If you are not clear how to phrase the question ask members to help. and that they are not expected to carry out the decision. In this case. state points of agreement and of hesitancy. and that are basically already in agreement.o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o Small groups: Time-limited discussions are held in smaller groups: small break-out groups to generate lots of ideas quickly. Suspicion: Be suspicious of agreements reached too easily .. to alleviate the tension. affirmation. Stand aside: When one or two people are blocking consensus. Find out where worries come from. Let people cool down first. Call on speaker: Regulate the flow of discussion by calling on speakers. then it should be discussed with them in private to find other ways to capture their interest and concern without having them continue to dominate meetings. . try asking those disagreeing for alternative proposals.? No agreement: When no agreement can be reached. This makes people conscious of when they interrupt others. ask if they are prepared to stand aside.. Dominating / over-talking: If one member regularly over-talks and it becomes a problem. The facilitator could also use techniques to equalise discussions. Talking stick: People may speak only when they hold the talking stick. Consensus: Clarify disagreements by periodically testing for consensus. If the decision is postponed it is often a good idea to engage conflicting parties in conflict resolution before the issue is brought up again. Insist on a response/signal from every participant. This method gets discussions going in no time. formulate a consensus position. it can help to state the perceived agreement in the negative: Is there anyone who does not agree that . This lack of consensus will be recorded in the meeting minutes. Tension breaker: During intense or tiring situations try humour. but will welcome a stretch break or informal hilarity. etc. Negative statement: When there is time pressure or the group has lapsed into nit-picking.test to make sure that members really are fully supportive of the decision and do agree on essential points. Some group might rebel at the suggestion of 'wasting time' on a game. so that they can be resolved or new proposals drawn up that take them into account. games. When a decision cannot be made. Formulate consensus: The facilitator is responsible for moving the discussion forward when the group discusses items longer than needed. silence. changing seats. Postpone decisions: Propose a break or silence or postponing the decision to give people time to cool down and reflect.
Everyone should leave the meeting with a commitment for taking action. Some far-off issues may be so important that you have to alter the agenda to discuss them first. o Seek commitments: It is the goal of some agenda items to get commitment. when and where. These are recorded into the meeting minutes. to give members a chance to reflect and think things over. class. cleanly identifying action items on the agenda. o Focus balance: Strike a balance between encouraging full discussion and keeping the conversation focussed. A parking lot is a section in the agenda where items are stored for future consideration. Discrimination: Facilitators should not allow people with race. o Conflict resolution: The facilitator will help the group deal with and resolve conflict if the group just cannot agree and will tactfully end discussions that become destructive. Criticism: Never criticise individual group members about their job performance in front of others. Time keeping: It must be ensured that the meeting is carried out within the designated time. o Delegate: When over-detailed decision making is getting too time consuming. bring it to the group's attention. how. o Parking lot: When the group wander off far from the original agenda. Keep the group focussed on one item at a time until a decision has been reached. and keep to the schedule. even if the decision is to shelve it for some other time. It may be a good idea to ask for a break to discuss this with the group leaders.or ask someone in the group to formulate a position that reflects the group's general position and then move on. The facilitator can seize the moment to get members committed to certain tasks. Basic courtesies: Facilitators ensure that basic courtesies and meeting rules are followed. o Caution: Don’t ask members for input on an issue that has been decided nothing is more disempowering. Also. Other items may have to be dropped off the agenda if necessary. The facilitator inspires all members to be more responsible for the progress of the meeting. Schedule individual meetings to discuss performance if necessary. o State and restate: Clarify proposals put forward stating and restating the position of the meeting as it appears to be emerging until agreement is reached. gender. " o Challenge to action: Focus the discussion on challenging members to take effective actions to build the business. goals and future involvement. o Decision making: Decisions on action steps include what. record them in a parking lot to be addressed later. do not mistake silence for consent. It is a very important responsibility to change the direction of discussions. or any subtle or non-subtle privilege to dominate a meeting. . suggest that the issues be decided by a committee at another meeting. o Silence: Silence is good sometimes. who. or gets too heated. This is also important to do when there are more important issues to discuss. so allocate adequate time for seeking commitment. Off-topic discussions: The facilitator cuts off unproductive sidebar conversations or discussions that are going in circles.
If you choose to use a formal system. . It is agreed that discussions will be focussed on the subject and aims of the meeting. One person may speak at a time. The facilitator and members can also decide on their own guidelines prior to the meeting on what the rules and boundaries of the meeting will be. trusting that their point will be made by someone else. Co-facilitators can also help the facilitator keep track of who wishes to speak. have a break. how will it be handled? If a motion fails. members confirm their attendance or absence with the facilitator. Each facilitator can get a chance to participate in the discussion. make it a rule that everyone has to answer a question or voice their opinion at least once. helping everyone to feel more comfortable. make sure that everyone understands how to use them. Attendance: In the interest of common courtesy. Non-sexist/racist language. how are members trained in its use? Over-talking: Those who talk easily in group settings will make an effort to speak less.this will help members understand that they must be solutionoriented. Quiet/withdrawn: Those who are quiet or withdrawn will make an effort to speak more often. Outline what behaviour is acceptable/not acceptable in meetings: The time frame will be explained and everyone agrees to adhere to it. such as Robert's Rules of Order or a consensus based model. Meeting rules Most groups need some basic rules of order for meetings. or get backup during conflict or confusion. Solution orientation: The group may decide to forbid any problems being raised without a solution .Co-facilitators: Co-facilitators can make the job of the facilitator easier. No dominating/threatening behaviour. Respect people's time as their most valuable resource. Involvement: If your meeting is for fifty people or less. Guidelines: Who may recognise a speaker? How is a time limit for a topic set? How are discussions initiated or motions made? How is voting done? How are disagreements settled? If something is not on the agenda. The meeting could be declared a no whining zone. Meeting preparation checklist Create value: Aim to create as much value as possible for the investment of each member's time. can it be discussed again? If strict parliamentary procedure is used. Mistakes: A facilitator has to admit and learn from mistakes made and ask for help when overwhelmed.
Good points which are lost in discussions will not go unnoticed. If the group has run out of time they have to make a concerted decision to extend the discussion/agenda item and set a time limit for how much longer it wants to take. equipment. collects reports. At minimum. Tune into how members are feeling and what the opinions and interest levels are. 5. If something really funny happened. unexpected venues and at unusual times that would get the best out of everyone. seating. Minutetakers must be able to take clear. o Scribe: The scribe takes on a large sheet or white board for everyone to refer to . Ensures that no one is being ignored or personally attacked. Meeting notes must preferably be sent out the same day as the meeting. The minute taker keeps track of decisions. Checks energy levels . summary of reports given. they know they are on the stack and can put their hand down. These are kept in the group's archives for the future and reflect what was done. all the main motions.Innovate: Develop your own innovative meeting tactics to make your meeting fun and interesting! Try out non-traditional ways of doing things. This is very helpful in a complicated discussion involving a large group. and draws attention to incomplete items on the agenda. o Minute taker: The minute taker records the official notes relevant to the goals of the meeting. announcements and proposals and enables everyone to refer to these notes. o Time Keeper: The time keeper pushes the group to stick to time limits by signalling or saying how much time is left for the current agenda item. o Vibes watcher: The vibes watcher remedies situations of conflict and distress by calling for short breaks/stretching. o Coordinator: The coordinator is essential for large meetings. a minute-taker and a time keeper is required. . so that members can review their tasks. report on actions taken. discussions.this is particularly useful for brainstorming. Roles: Designate other members to cover the roles of minute-taker. Look after how individual members are affected. Usually they mention 20 minutes left. it could also be included. o Stack keeper: The stack keeper makes a list of people raising their hands who wants to speak. refreshments and notices. The vibes watcher monitors the emotional atmosphere and needs to be able to sense underlying feelings. understandable notes. by taking time out with someone and listening to them or by bringing it to the group’s attention that injustices has been observed. It is written as headings with short bulleted points. One could also videotape the meeting for record purposes. assignments taken on. takes minutes. vibes watcher and time keeper. a summary of the discussions. When the stack keeper nods to the member. 10. The stack keeper can call on just the next person or call a shortlist of up to 5 names.has to notice if people are getting sleepy. to gather people for starting on time and is responsible for the venue. etc. by taking the role of an intermediary. listen carefully and read body language. Meeting minutes are used as reference of best practices and as legal agreements. especially those who missed the meeting.
or if the main facilitator tires or wants to participate more actively in discussion. o Reflection: Provide an opportunity for members to share their thoughts on what the group has done well and to admit mistakes. o Juicy activity: Include something juicy that will engage.Must observe when members get too unhappy or restless to make decisions. o Anticipated action: Each agenda item could have an anticipated action connected to it. Interests: List topics that members want or need to learn more about. Think about effective processes/tools for difficult or controversial topics. Set time limits for each agenda item: o Start early: Start putting together the agenda for the next meeting as soon as possible. debate and decision making and 20% focussed on reports that help you make long term decisions. o Evaluation: Plan in time for an evaluation of the meeting near the end. . ask members to be accountable to come back on time. and strategy. o Member input: Request input from member on what to include in the agenda and on specific decisions that affect them. Issues list: Create an issues list from the particular issues members want to discuss. instead use a smaller meeting for this purpose. announcements. o Short breaks: Build in plenty of short strategic 5-15 minute breaks to provide rest and relief from taxing discussions at least every hour so people will remain engaged and comfortable. o Member survey: Survey some of the members to find out what they like and dislike. empower and uplift the entire group. o content balance: One could use a 80/20 rule. want and don’t want. When the breaks are announced. games or excitement sharing. o Ice-breaking: Plan something to gather the group at the start the meeting with a process to make your members feel special and build cohesion such as team-building exercises. o Alternate facilitator: Find an alternative facilitator who can step in should there be an emergency. objectives. introductions. in order to promote an action orientation for the meeting. Define its purpose. o Duration balance: Alternate short and long discussions. goals. where 80% of the agenda is future orientated in discussion. Think about priorities for this meeting. Agenda: Use headings and short bulleted sentences to outline the agenda. Must assess whether aims are being fulfilled. Avoid topics that are only relevant to a portion of the group. Deal with difficult items after the group has warmed up but before they are is tired. or speakers they've been wanting to hear. Which items could be tackled another time or in smaller groups? o Relevance: Share information with all members about everything that is impacting the group's work. Purpose: Be clear about 'why' the meeting is held.
and how to make the most of their time and make it as effortless and enjoyable as possible. Theme: Use the group's company slogan or an exciting punch line for the meeting. Brainstorm: Select a few creative members to assist in brainstorming creative ideas for the meeting and help you stay focused on what the group needs and wants in a meeting. . A room that is too large may encourage members to daydream or become isolated from discussion. consider a resort. then there are no seating arrangement and people choose their own positions. ask for a formal presentation. o Circle or semi-circle: For small groups. Be creative. check their qualifications and get references. Most resorts offer enjoyable relaxation options such as swimming. o Selection: If you do. communication and participation. round tables are best for interaction because they allow everyone to see each other.com. lengthy documents or articles prior to the meeting so members will be prepared and feel involved and up-to-date. or even in the back room of the R&D department. length of the meeting and your budget. Target: Keep the unique group culture in mind and adjust activities to best suit the target group. a restaurant. meetings can be held in a theatre or classroom setting. o No seats! It might even be useful to arrange seating on big cushions on the floor. o Venue set-up: Set up the venue so that members face each other to create a sense of closeness that will enhance intimacy. Choose a meeting space your people will enjoy: o On-site: o Local off-site venue: You could select a hotel conference room. Location: Consider your objectives. o Room size: Small rooms with too many people get stuffy and create tension. Distribute agenda: Distribute the agenda and circulate background material. Site visit: Make sure the venue the right size for the group. golf.bizmotivation. o Variety: Variety is key in keeping meetings interesting and will ensure that you accommodate the variety of members' tastes. You can obtain resources for meeting themes plus many additional ideas at www. 'cause most people love resorts. o Half-moon seating: For large groups. A larger room is more comfortable and encourages individual expression. Arrange the seating in an inclusive half-moon or semicircle-shaped rows. o Podium/platform: Another important rule of thumb is to always place your platform and podium on the long wall.Reports: Request brief reports on the most important activities that are important for the rest of the group to know about. o Out of town: If your budget will allow it.to improve speaker/audience connection. A meeting could be held at your ad agency. and other activities your employees would enjoy. if the room is long and narrow .
so choose wisely. word-of-mouth. Create a time limit. Meeting time: Choose an appropriate meeting time. snail-mail. The carbs are okay for afterwards.Decor: Make sure your room environment is stimulating and helps to create the mood for the meeting. consider engaging the services of an experienced meeting planner.it will make the group sleepy. Rather serve protein. A meeting is only successful if it is well promoted. Customers: On occasion. o Special needs: Consider any special needs participants might have and how to cater for them. Be creative and systematic with your promotion. most important. pens. Reminders: Remind everyone who needs to be there more than once. The gift could be waiting at their seat after the break. Consider Mozart or New Age music for higher management. notice boards. inspirational posters. For example. Post a large agenda up front to which members can refer. Materials: Gather materials needed for the meeting. give each member a surprise gift. they can help you save money and their experience can be invaluable. Use the phone. insulation from noise. you could purchase one lottery ticket for every member or have a lottery for the meeting with three great prizes. Gifts: On occasion. marker pens. and windows. invite a few customers to attend a meeting and explain why he or she buys from you and. or videotape a few of your customers prior to your program. and if appropriate. Consider other commitments of members. Guest speakers: Guest speakers make the difference between a good meeting and a great meeting. Don’t rely on only one method of contact. fruit and vegetables. Decorate the room with visual aids like acronym charts. Include graphics with your theme on the invitation. Often. need and expect by doing business with the group. Give gifts o . flipcharts. Food: Avoid serving any food that are high in carbohydrates. Promote: It's never too early to promote. o Conditions: Make sure the room is comfortable! Not too hot or cold or crowded. Get people pumped up prior to the event by promoting it as if they had to make the decision to pay money to attend. and the ones who will implement the decisions are present. e-mail.g. SMS and/or memos to notify members. Let all members know about the meeting. Outsource: If you begin to feel overwhelmed. Music can also be played as someone walks up to the podium. o Music: Play nice upbeat music as members enter the room and during breaks. written presentations and proposals. what they want. like cake or lasagne . ability to hear and see. bathrooms. Send an e-mail invitation to each attendee. Agenda and material: Distribute the agenda and background material ahead of time so members will be prepared and feel involved. Invites: Ensure that everyone knows where and when the next meeting will be held. Be aware of air quality. diagrams or accents with your theme to make sure the room has ambience. including once the day before the meeting. e. Make sure all members who have the power to decide.
If this becomes difficult. State the intention to stick to the agenda and to keep conversation focused on the topic and ask if there are any items to add. Go through the agenda item by item. Start time: Ensure that smaller meetings start exactly on time. Name tags: Provide name tags for everyone. step out of role and let someone else facilitate. at every meeting. etc. Agenda: Review the agenda so that the group understands priorities for the meeting. Even a quick stretch can lighten the mood and make everyone more productive. Introductions: In smaller sized groups. ask each member to introduce themselves and encourage them to share more than just their names. they will feel that attending meetings is worth their while. Meeting rules: Announce meeting rules that are particularly apt for this meeting. respecting the time of those who were on time. Participation: Set a tone for equal participation between the group and the facilitator. Manipulation: Avoid manipulating the meeting towards a particular outcome. Q&A: A meeting is the ideal place for Q&A sessions between divisions of the group. especially committee work. Regulate discussion as outlined earlier. be sure to recognise work well done. Make participants feel comfortable and appreciated. plan to start 10-15 minutes before the official start time. and commitments made. Ice-breaker: Ask someone to think up a juicy ice-breaker a few minutes before the meeting and use it during your opening go-around. You will have better quality decisions as well as highly-motivated members. Let them know about the Q&A session early on in the meeting and to write down .they are good icebreakers and make members feel special and comfortable. coordinator and/or time keeper have to manage time and the process of the meeting. activities and commitment to the organisation improve when members see their impact on the decision making process. Acknowledgement: In the meeting. Breaks: A 5-15 minute break every hour should suffice. Check the lighting. Enjoyable: The facilitator must ensure that decisions made. serve beverages and light refreshments such as cookies or fruit . It's a great help to be reminded what someone's name is. Welcome: Greet members and make everyone feel welcome and listened to at the beginning of a meeting. For very large meetings. plans developed. and do not bemoan late members or absentees. All perspectives: Encourage group discussion to get all points of view and ideas. Refreshments: If possible. Ideas. The energy level in the room could be increased by 100%! During meetings Checking: Make sure you can get into the meeting room early. The goal is to start and end on time. when it's hard to admit you don’t know their names. Feedback: Encourage feedback. Check that you have the right amount of chairs and that there is proper signage to direct members to the meeting room. sound.throughout the meeting to keep it interesting and fun. Time management: The facilitator. are done in a manner that is enjoyable for everyone in the group.
Spend a few short minutes recapping your plan of action at the end of the meeting. If using consensus decision making make an allowance for extra time to go deeper into the issue if necessary. what went wrong. Use this feedback as a guide for future meetings. o Reiterate the business's mission. set up the room. If people aren’t okay with it. o End the meeting on time.discuss with the group how or when the issue can be addressed effectively. provide satisfying closure: o Sum up the meeting. brought refreshments or typed up the agenda. o Remind everyone to read the meeting minutes. o Comment on special contributions of members and accomplishments of the group. Evaluation: Member feedback will give you great insight into how members have received the meeting. Running long: If you must go longer. Summary: Summarise agreements reached. . The facilitator has to keep a close eye on proceedings. Write down what went right. the facilitator should make sure everyone is alright with adding extra time onto the meeting.questions on an index card. Agenda review: Find out from members if the agenda was adequate . the discussion should be tabled until a later date. o Encourage individuals to pursue projects or ideas. Revisit your goals to see how well these meetings are fulfilling members’ needs and make adjustments. Positive end note: Always end the meeting on a unifying or positive note. place and assign roles for the next meeting. Bounce specific feedback received off other members in surveys to gain more perspectives someone may suggest something otherwise overlooked! Schedule next meeting: Set a date. time. Did you meet your goals? What are the next steps? Who's doing what? o Use affirmation and appreciation to thank everyone for making the meeting a success. o Thank people who prepared things for the meeting. Collect the cards in time to hand them to volunteers who would then answer these questions. and what you would do differently when you plan the next meeting. Minutes: Keep minutes of the meeting for future reference in case a question arises or some members are not in attendance.
o Legal records: Store a copy of the minutes where the group legal documents are kept. after the meeting to prevent errors of memory. recognition and appreciation to excellent and timely progress. Minutes of meetings are legal records of agreements and decisions of the group. Tell them you missed them and update them on the meeting's outcome. o Memorandum: Once the minutes are prepared. Write a thank you e-mail to everyone who assisted you in making your meeting successful. distribute them within one day to reinforce the importance of the meeting. o Follow-up: Diarise dates and relevant reminder notes when to inquire about how agreed tasks are progressing.Meeting follow through Minutes of meetings: o Prepare minutes: The minute taker must prepare the minutes on the same day. Reports: Tasks agreed to be completed have to be accomplished and progress reports prepared for the next meeting. Improvements: Discuss the meeting with members and note any areas that can be improved for more productive meetings. Unfinished business: Any unfinished business is put on the agenda for the next meeting. . Absentees: You may want to analyse the recruitment plans after the meeting. Makes sure that responsibilities are clearly understood and duties carried out. See that all members understand and carry out their responsibilities. Action: Follow-up on delegation decisions. Call members who missed the meeting. and may be reviewed as part of the annual audits. Appreciation: Give thanks.
http://www. New Society Publishers. Beer with Eileen Stief. Ronin Publishing. 1981. is a webbased library with useful information on all aspects of running a nonprofit organisation. New Society Publishers.icl. 1993 ISBN: 0 86571 274 3 Resource Manual for a Living Revolution Virginia Coover. New Society Publishers. How to Have Effective Staff Meetings.How to Mediate A Dispute Dr Beverly Potter.htm . Zed Books.Participation.on-Profit Nuts and Bolts assists with elements of non profit management and organisation Visit www.za www.The Institute for Conservation Leadership offers trainings to conservation organisations in meeting facilitation and other aspects of organisational development www. Charles Esser. Systems developer benjine@itemporium. 1997. 1996. Sarah Fisk and Duane Berger.org .co.com . 3rd edition. ISBN: 0-86571-008-2 Working with Conflict Fisher et al. Ellen Deacon.managementassistance.Additional resources for successful meetings www. www.The Internet Nonprofit Center – Nonprofit FAQ offers information and advice on many aspects of meeting facilitation. Catherine Toldi.org . Decision-Making and Communication John Castill.self-educate. by Carter McNamara. New SocietyPublishers. 2000 ISBN: 1 85649 837 9 The Mediator's Handbook Jennifer E.Free Management Library.Management Assistance Group provides support to nonprofits.mapnp. Christopher Moore.nutsbolts.com/np-mission. ISBN: 0-86571-359-6.nonprofits. ISBN: 0-86571-347-2 Democracy in Small Groups . by Susan Gross and Robin Katcher Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making Sam Kaner with Lenny Lind. developed by Friends Conflict Resolution Programs From Conflict to Cooperation .org/library. 1996 ISBN: 0-914171-79-8 Benjine Gerber. Author.org/npofaq/ .
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