For some people, the word meeting evokes hours spent unproductively, listening to people talk about topics that could've easily been settled through a call or email, or in some cases, you may not be even involved in. Your attention drifts and instead of listening to what’s being discussed, you're pre-occupied thinking of better and productive things that you could’ve been doing. There’s no shame, everyone’s done it at one point – in any industry. A workplace survey even supports the reality of such meeting behaviors people engage in.
It sure would've been nice if meetings become productive and efficient – and Natasha Terk from Adcom Designs might just have the key to making that happen. Natasha Terk is the Managing Director of Adcom Designs – a firm that helps organizations improve through communication and processes. Adcom Design has an impressive clientele including Hewlett Packard, Nestle Health Science, and the Federal Reserve Bank just to name a few.
On this webinar, Natasha aims to improve our experience with meetings as she provides guidelines and best practices to improve organizational communication. Some of the details covered on the course include:
- What a bad/the worst meeting looks and feels like.
- Facts and figures that illustrate the chunk of time spent by professionals on meetings.
- Bad behaviors that people do in meetings anyway.
- Differentiating a meeting from a presentation.
- Factors and questions to consider to improve the quality of our meetings.
- The significance of planning a meeting, defining the meeting’s purpose, and drafting an agenda.
- Identifying the individuals/representatives that must be a part of the meeting by reviewing their role, purpose and expected contribution to it.
- The responsibilities of the leader that include developing and organizing an agenda, sending out pre-meeting homework, and securing logistics needs for the meeting.
- The critical components of a meeting agenda and why it is useful to give out pre-work.
Useful guidelines when leading and facilitating a meeting like:
- Using voice, body language and eye contact to spark interest and engage participants.
- Asking questions and being inclusive to encourage participation.
- Active listening which ensures clarity of communication.
- Managing the conversation by being mindful of the time and the agenda, establishing ownership, facilitating the participants, and utilizing a ‘parking lot’ if necessary.
- A rundown of the usual suspects that may cause a meeting to go off-tangent, unproductive, challenging, or run longer than planned and how to manage them.
- Best practices and etiquette to observe in virtual meetings.
- The importance of closing the meeting through a review of agreements, decisions, and next steps that ensure the original objective and agenda of the meeting has been addressed.
- Important components and best practices when writing the minutes of the meeting.
- The critical step of following up that will be important in executing what was agreed upon or set the stage for the next meeting.
During the Q&A, points were clarified related to:
- Getting people to do the pre-work
- Holding meetings for policy changes
- Introduction scripts for webinars
- Leaders who go off-track from the agenda
- Pushing back and dealing with meetings that don’t provide an agenda
Whether it is a first meeting with a client or a follow-up meeting with other departmental stakeholders, meetings can both positively and negatively impact other people's perceptions about you, your organization, or service. A poorly run meeting can ultimately influence the decision-making process and outcomes.
While technology now allows you the option of meeting face-to-face or virtually, many of the challenges remain the same:
- How is a meeting different than a presentation?
- How do you make the most of your meeting time and accomplish the objectives of your meeting?
- How do you engage people and get consensus in a virtual meeting?
- How do you manage the inevitable challenging characters who might be involved in your meeting?