Meetings People Want to Attend

Tomorrow I have the tremendous honor of presenting at Fort Collins’ Startup Week.  As a hub for innovation (it’s not just the birthplace of good beer!), Fort Collins has a thriving entrepreneur community and I’m excited to get to share some tips with this year’s attendees.

The workshop description says:

We’re all familiar with the worst sort of meetings, the ones that drag on, have no real point, and feel like a complete waste of time. Come meet THAT meeting’s benevolent twin, The Good Meeting. We’ll explore what makes bad meetings bad and then spend time identifying remedies for these workplace meeting ills. You’ll leave with some practical tools to apply to whatever meeting you next host that will keep your group on track, and productive.

Ifmeeting-sm you’ve been the victim of a waste of time meeting, I feel you!  I launched my second career as a mediator and facilitator, in part, because I was SO DONE with bad meetings and SO ENTHRALLED with the magic of a good meeting.  Indeed, I pursued an entire graduate degree (Thank you University of Oregon!) to unlock the magic and forever avoid the bad meeting.

Since then I’ve facilitated meetings for everyone from Federal Agencies ( I HEART the US Forest Service) to city governments (shout out to the City of Eugene, OR) to major state universities (Go Rams….and Pokes too!) to school districts (I’m looking at you Poudre and Lewis Palmer!) and a whole slew of nonprofits.  Through all of these meetings, I’ve learned a few things. These keys to a good meeting  are useful not just for me a as a professional facilitator but many of them can be adapted and used by meeting amateurs (read…YOU!) to help make their own meetings ones that people WANT to attend.

Consider the following:

  • Why do you meet?  Does your team know why you’re getting together?
  • When your purpose is to explore an idea together, what’s your process to do so effectively and efficiently?  Do you know when you’re broadening the possibilities and when you’re narrowing them down?
  • When you have to make a decision, what are the rules that help get you there?  Does your team know which rules you’re playing by and when?
  • Are some meetings simply boring?  Are others so complicated you lose your way again, and again, and again before you ever make substantial progress?

If you can’t make the presentation but hunger to improve the quality of the meetings you lead, check out my handouts (Great Meetings Selected Slides and Facilitator Tricks to Mix Things Up ) and then get in touch!  I’d love to help you help your team make the most of their meetings!

Bonus: If you’re the first person to hand me a business card that says, “Meetings Rock!” on the back, I’ll give you a free 1 hour call to help diagnose and fix some of your worst meeting ills.  You’ve got nothing to lose!

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