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An ineffective meeting can leave you feeling like you have waited your time going nowhere.
When run effectively, meetings are a productive tool to help groups convene, share ideas, and move forward toward goals. However, we often experience meetings that are unorganized, lead to more confusion than clarity, or just could have been an email.
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An ineffective meeting can leave you feeling like you have waited your time going nowhere. An effective meeting is time well spent reaching your goals.
Leading an effective meeting takes time, preparation, and effort and entails more than just picking a date and time. Meeting best practices include:
The transition to virtual meetings brought additional best practices and tips such as choosing the right meeting platform, navigating technology, engaging participants meaningfully, and dealing with Zoom fatigue.
While any group can learn from and utilize meeting best practices, sometimes a topic, conflict, or group dynamic is too complex to handle on your own. When this happens, you may want to bring in a trained facilitator.
A professional facilitator is a trained, neutral third party who works with groups to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. A facilitator will work with a group to understand the obstacles and utilize different processes and skills to help the group move forward. Facilitators are responsible to the entire group, not any single individual, and focus on managing a fair process, not promoting any single idea or direction. Other responsibilities of a facilitator include:
Our facilitators are trained in a variety of facilitation processes, and we work collaboratively with groups to determine the best process to achieve their goals. As facilitators, we aim to create and promote a sense of equality among group members, encourage participation and collaboration, and foster inclusive solutions.
If you're interested in learning how an outside facilitator can help your group, reach out to Jessica Velez or Kathy Murphy. You can also check out the resources below that we've created to help you plan and manage meetings more effectively both in-person and online.
Considerations for planning an inclusive meeting agenda.
Comparisons of meeting responsibilities for the facilitator and the person in charge."
A quick, ten-question form to anonymously assess your meetings.
Possible roles for participants to delegate responsibilities in a meeting.
Techniques facilitators can use to improve communication in meetings.
A collection of best practices for leading productive meetings online.
An example of settings and features to consider when setting up your Zoom meeting
A template of how to invite participants to your Zoom meeting.