I once came across an old meeting guide written by Kevin Ritchie: Be a “Meeting Hero”: A Guide to Conducting Better Meetings In Your Community and on the Job.
I guess I’m not the first person who thought the world needed more meeting heroes.
In the guide’s intro, I found a nugget that meeting planners everywhere would do well to remember. He wrote about the expectations of meeting participants. Here’s what he writes:
Fulfilling the expectations of your attendees is one way to become known as a meeting hero. Kevin lists 7 expectations.
7 things every meeting goer wants to know
- The meeting is well organized
- My time will not be wasted
- I have received all relevant information before the meeting
- There is an agenda, schedule, and goals
- My ideas and participation are valued and valuable
- I will not be personally attacked or criticized for my ideas
- The meeting will end on time
Here’s what I’d add
Kevin offers an excellent list. I agree with all of them.
Note that #1 should take care of #2, 3, 4 and contribute to 7. The majority of a meeting’s success is determined before a meeting starts.
When I teach people meeting facilitation skills, a majority of the session focuses on meeting planning.
#5 and 6 depend a bit on who is in the meeting, but with some decent ground rules, consistent enforcement of those rules, and reasonable levels of emotional intelligence (E.Q.) from the meeting’s leader; those should be met too.
The one thing that is implied, but could be spelled out more clearly is that people want to accomplish the goal. Having a goal is one thing. Meeting it is another.
I suppose, that could be what #2 means, but I think whether a meeting is a waste or not is quite subjective. Achieving the stated goal is much more cut and dry. I’m a fan of measurable goals.
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