Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

5 Principles of Highly Effective Meetings

ARCHIVES
Image via iurii/shutterstock.com

What are meetings good for? Countless professionals ask themselves this very question everyday. The frustration around meetings is a consequence of failing to abide by some very basic principles. What follows are the principles, purposes, and practices of excellent meetings:

Principle #1: Use the meeting for those things that would benefit from bringing people together or can't be resolved without convening.

Purpose: Progress

Practice:

  • When determining whether to call a meeting, ask yourself: Can the purpose of the meeting more efficiently and effectively be achieved without convening? If the answer is yes, hold off on meeting.

Principle #2: Use the meeting to provide participants with a chance to express their opinions and be heard.

Purpose: Recognition

Practices:

  • Start the conversation with a “clearing” (i.e., Have everyone go around and say what’s on their mind without soliciting comments.)
  • Reiterate what participants say and check for understanding.

Principle #3: Use the meeting to build rapport and trust among the group members.

Purpose: Trust

Practices:

  • Have participants make introductions and describe what they hope to achieve by being there.
  • Maintain eye contact and refer to participants by their names, as opposed to “he said” or “she said…”
  • Create meeting norms (e.g., voting procedures as well as agreement to not comment on people’s “clearings.”)
  • Give people space to talk (see 2nd principle) and build on what participants say.
  • Express gratitude and thank the participants for their contributions.

Principle #4: Use the meeting to learn more efficiently and effectively than each participant could on his/her own.

Purpose: Learning

Practice:

  • Encourage advocacy and inquiry (i.e., Encourage participants to advocate their views and to invite other participants to inquire as to their line of reasoning and supporting evidence.)

Principle #5: Use the meeting to develop actionable strategies.

Purpose: Action

Practices:

  • Employ the OARRs method (i.e., Decide on the Outcome, Agenda, Roles, and Rules prior to or at the start of the meeting.)
  • Provide crystal-clear directions (e.g., Avoid double-barreled questions.)
  • Eliminate barriers to success (e.g., Rather than “reinventing the wheel,” build upon templates that already exist.)
  • Write up action items and include "Who, what, by when" (i.e., Who is responsible? What is he/she responsible for? And by what date should it be completed?)

What do you think are the essential elements of an effective meeting?

Image via iurii/shutterstock.com

Sam Nayman has a passion for organizational and personal transformation. He currently pursues this passion as a Leadership, Team, and Organizational Excellence Analyst. Prior to this role, Sam worked with Third Sector Capital Partners, which arranges Social Impact Bonds, an innovative social sector performance-based contract that brings together government, nonprofits, and philanthropists. He prepared himself for these jobs as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and as a Social Policy major at Northwestern University.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.