Having Magic Meetings
Avoiding common errors
- Contact the participants before the meeting to set the scene and to gauge their initial thoughts and approaches. This is especially important for stakeholders and decision makers.
- Know if the meeting is about you making the decision and then telling those present or is it about consulting all present and making a collective decision?
- Prep yourself and challenge yourself about why the meeting is needed in the first place. What are you trying to achieve and what exactly will you do with the input from other attendees?
- Begin every meeting with the Chair clarifying the objectives, agenda, roles and rules.
- If the meeting is not going how you planned that it would engineer a break and use this time productively to talk to key members of the group.
- Try to understand what the blockers to moving forward actually are and how you can deal with this.
- Identify the sticking points and try to find solutions.
- Challenge the scope of the meeting – ask what appear to be the hard and difficult questions to gain fresh impetus for dealing with the issues the meeting has been called to address.
Keep an open mind and maintain a flexible approach as you may need to improvise. It is perfectly acceptable to go back into a meeting with a change of plan and a new approach as nobody will want to attend a costly event with no clear direction or likelihood of success.