The Secrets of Meeting Magic Revealed

The Secrets of Meeting Magic Revealed

A meeting is a lot like a magic show. You have a group of people trying to reach a common goal. If you have good leadership and share the work, you can produce results that appear magical. To do that, remember and apply The Meeting Magic Formula: M + A + G + I + C = Success.

Meet or Not? – Determine whether or not a meeting is the best way to accomplish your goal by answering the following questions:

·         What is the overall objective? What needs to be accomplished? When does it need to be done? 

·         Is there another approach that would work as well as, or better than, a meeting? 

·         Is this work really best accomplished by a group activity? Who needs to attend?

·         What will the meeting cost? Will achieving the desired outcomes be a good “return on investment”? 

Agenda – With the end in mind, prepare carefully to get what you want. Develop a detailed agenda (plan) that identifies the meeting purpose, location, start and end times, participants, topics and time frames, and desired outcomes. Distribute the agenda to all participants several days prior – along with a meeting announcement/invitation that identifies what participants should bring ... and how they should prepare.

Guidelines – Set and follow “ground rules” that will ensure you stay on track. For example:

1.        One person speaks at a time – side comments will be limited. 

2.        No personal attacks. Discuss positions, not people.

3.        Turn off cell phones and pagers – or set them on silent. Wait for the break to return calls.

4.        We will stick to the agenda and scheduled times. If the group wants to extend a discussion or add a topic, everyone must agree to extend the meeting or defer other topics. 

5.        If we slip off the agenda, we’ll “park” issues for discussion at the end – if time permits. 

 Involvement – Encourage everyone to participate and contribute. Here are some tips for doing that:

·         Don’t try to try to do it all yourself. Enlist participants as recorders, timekeepers, group leaders, etc. 

·         Use a variety of techniques that require participation (e.g., brainstorming, breakout sessions).

·         Do periodic process checks (“Are we on track?”) to create opportunities for participant feedback. 

·         Target interaction: Ask for input from specific people. 

·         Reward active participation with acknowledgments and simple “thank you” comments. 

·         Act swiftly (and tactfully) to stifle any disruptors or dominators. 

Clarity – Communicate clearly to help ensure success.

·         Use pictures, charts, and other visuals.

·         Explain any unique terms or acronyms that you use – and remind others to do the same.

·         Provide a glossary of new or technical terms. 

·         Ask participants to paraphrase discussions, key points, and key learning.

·         Encourage questions. 

·         Summarize/review all agreements, commitments, and future action items at the end. Be specific! 

Meet Well and Lead Right,    Douglas Raine  - FGBMFA National Director Outreach and Training                                                                                                                                                                                               

For more information please contact: The Walk the Talk Company 1100 Parker Square Suite 250 Flower Mound, TX 75028