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5-Step Process for Meetings That Get Results

Categories: Effective Meetings

How much time do you spend on meetings?

If there are results, then the time is worthwhile.

If, however, there are no results, it’s an incredible waste of time and resources, which result in lost dollars.

Here are statistics to ponder, from online meetings resources, regarding time and salaries in relation to meetings.

**   25-50% of our time in the corporate world is spent in meetings

**   30% of a $30,000 salary = $9,000 a year (time and cost in meetings)

**   So, 1,000 employees = $9,000,000 per year in salary

**   53% of the time, meetings are inefficient

**   $4,770,000 wasted

Assuming you are making more than $30,000, and spend more than 30% of your time in meetings, what does this mean for you in terms of lost revenue from failed meetings?

You know it is a sign of insanity to repeat the same behaviors and expect different results. Over the next few weeks, I will describe a 5-step formula to help you put together and facilitate more effective meetings.

Although the meeting leader has major responsibilities, the participants are not victims. A strong participant can make a difference. Meeting accountability needs to start somewhere – are you ready?

There are two types of meetings – informative and problem-solving/decision-making.

The first is a meeting to share information. There may be better ways, however, of sharing information than having a meeting.

Here is a checklist of questions to consider before scheduling an informative meeting, courtesy of The Facilitator’s Fieldbook (Thomas Justice and David W. Jamieson, Ph.D.) 

  1. Is there any significant action to be taken now, in this meeting, as a result of the information?
  2. Does the information imply that some sort of action should be taken by a majority of the participants in the near future?
  3. Is a meeting the only way that participants can get this information in a timely manner?
  4. Do more than two-thirds of the people in the meeting need to know this?
  5. 5) Will a significant number of participants be in some kind of trouble if they don’t get this information here, right now, in this meeting?

If you can’t say “yes” to at least two of these questions, then a meeting is NOT the best way to share the information.

If you can eliminate a small percentage of meetings by looking for other alternatives to distribute information, it will save time. Also, if you distribute information in advance, and use the meeting time to answer questions, you will again save time. Let’s never forget that time is dollars.

The second meeting type is problem-solving, and decision-making. My blog over the next few weeks will focus primarily on these types of meetings.

The 5-step approach to facilitate effective meetings:

  1. Pre-Launch – with prior and proper planning and preparation, you prevent poor performance. Never meet just to meet. There has to be a reason – the planning stage determines desired outcome, decision-making process, stakeholders and agenda.
  2. Launch – In this stage, you’re getting the meeting off the ground and the ideas flowing.
    • Opening or meeting start-up 
    • Idea generation
  3. Navigate – In this stage, you’re guiding the group in making sense of the information that came out of the idea generation stage. 
    • Prioritizing & organizing 
    • Advocating* Evaluating
  4. Land – In this stage, you’re helping the group reach agreement and make decisions.
    • Reaching agreement & closure
  5. Post Land --  Evaluation/next steps

I’ll share more details about each of these steps in my next five blogs.

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