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