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We’ve Got to Start Meeting Like This

Earlier this week, Ron Tabachnick, a facilitator with RT Planning Strategies Inc. emailed me a message about his board meeting facilitation process. The outline offers some interesting ideas people at all levels could apply:

Stage 1: Issues

  • Participants air issues that could hinder setting goals and taking action
  • As the participants speak, their words appear on a large screen at the front of the room
  • Everyone in the room has their attention on the screen and not on each other — this reduces interpersonal friction
  • At the end of this stage there is a short break
  • The printout of what they saw on the screen is waiting at their desks when they return

Stage 2: Goals

  • Participants state and discuss their goals
  • The on-screen computerized process is used to arrange the list of goals into categories
  • At the end of this stage there is a short break
  • A printed record of their goals is waiting for them when they return

Stage 3: Action

  • Actions are specified for the critical goals
  • Participants have the option of establishing responsibilities and completion dates for each of the actions
  • At the end of this stage the participants leave the session with the final organized document in hand

Seems pretty straight forward, but how many of you incorporate real-time note taking and agenda making into your meetings and work sessions? How many of you walk away with a concrete action plan that everyone has agreed to? Too often, meetings end without a clear sense of decision or direction.

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