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Effective Meetings Step 2: Launch!

Categories: Effective Meetings

Last week’s blog dealt with the Pre-Launch. It’s amazing how much smoother things go when the preparation is in place. The second phase of BRODY's 5-step process for effective meetings is the Launch phase.

This is when you get the meeting off the ground and get the ideas flowing. When the leader opens the meeting, he/she needs to review the following:

  • Meeting objectives
  • Agenda
  • Decision-making method
  • Roles
  • Timing
  • Ground rules

This doesn’t have to take long, but without going over these items, it is easy to get off track. Also, if any changes are needed, this is the time to do it.

Once the meeting gets going, you can always go back to the goals, agenda, timing and ground rules to keep things on track.

Of course, in order to achieve results, it is necessary to get discussion and ideas flowing. Here are three ways to accomplish that:

  1. Present a proposal – sharing a suggestion, an idea or plan of action. Then, ask the group for feedback.
  2. Discussion/brainstorming – this begins by the leader proposing a problem or opportunity and then throwing it to the group to talk through it. Discussion/brainstorming are best when structured and linked to a specific outcome, otherwise they can lead into tangents and be ineffective.
  3. Rules of Brainstorming:
    • Don’t evaluate or comment on the ideas offered.
    • Quantity, not quality is the goal.
    • Record each idea exactly as offered – no rephrasing. (If you have trouble capturing the idea, ask the person to restate it in 5 words or less.)
    • Don’t explain or allow others to explain their ideas – there will be time for that later. Explanations slow down the flow of ideas and can lead to tangents.
    • Don’t worry about duplicate ideas, there will be time later to eliminate those.

If the Launch stage is done successfully, the meeting should be on course and everyone engaged.

Next week, I’ll provide additional ways to get full participation in meetings, and avoid discussion killers.

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