Looking for a way to improve the quality of your next meeting?  Here are some great ideas from Sanders Says, Tim Sanders new blog:

  1. Don’t write down anything except the promises that you make, or action items you are assigned. If you must, assign someone to be the official meeting scribe. Rotate such assignments for a project with frequent meetings so no one is cut out of the visual loop. I’ve also found that a handheld recorder can do the job. Get everyone’s permission to record the meeting and then send out the audio file to a transcription service. You’ll get back meeting transcripts at only a few dollars a page, which are alot more insightful than your scribbles.
  2. If you see something, especially a disturbing emotion, ask them about it. You can say, "You look surprised/upset/happy — let’s talk about it." You’ll find that the other person is usually happy to talk about it and in the end she feels like she’s been "heard".
  3. Don’t bring ANY devices to a meeting (unless there is an urgent phone call coming at any time). These gadgets are a big distraction. Leave cell phones, black berrys and especially laptops at your desk. If you are having a meeting in your office or cubicle, turn off your computer monitor.

What if we all tried this today?  Think our meetings would be different?  I think this would make a very big difference.  Think about the meetings you’ve been in lately.  How many times did a cell phone go off?  How many times are the people more interested in what’s coming in on a blackberry than the meeting itself?  Is there ever any interaction about how people feel about what’s being discussed?  Again, this could be a big innovation.  Let me know how it goes!

You can read Tim’s whole post right here.  He’s got a great blog, packed with some really good content.

Three Ways to Improve Your Next Meeting