Save Time, Be More Productive
Ask any professional, and I’m sure they’ll have something to say about work meetings, particularly pointless ones. We’ve all had the eye-ball-roll-and-groan experience when that guy asks a question right at the end of the meeting – again. Or, the meetings that go so far down a rabbit trail you can’t remember the original purpose.
What’s most frustrating about it is that they don’t need to be that way. With simple facilitation skills, every meeting can be productive.
A good facilitator sets the tone of the meeting, keeps the flow, and steers the conversation to ensure the goals are met.
Here’s how we like to do it.
Communicate ahead of time
Depending on the type of meeting, it may be best to communicate the agenda ahead of time. Be clear on purpose and requirements for each attendee.
Set the tone
We love the POP (Purpose, Outcome, Process) format for meetings because it ensures you get answers to the why, what, and how questions. It’s simple and effective.
Purpose: At the beginning of the meeting, state the purpose for gathering. Indicate not only what you’d like to accomplish but WHY it’s important to the bigger picture.
Example: We want to create content (purpose) that will consistently drive leads (why).
Outcome: By the end of the meeting, what do you want to accomplish? Communicate that to the group.
Example: By the end of the meeting, we will map out content topics for the next six months.
Process: How will you get to the outcome? Let the group know how you expect the meeting to flow so that you do get to the desired result.
Example: We will have an open forum where you will share your ideas. We’ll place them on the whiteboard, refine the topics, then decide the best timing to publish them.
Stay on track
It’s typical for meetings to veer off track at some point. However, the role of the facilitator is to get everyone back on point. Try this: “That’s a great thought/question/insight, but I’d like to focus on X. Could we tackle that during another meeting?” Consider having a large easel sticky pad as a parking lot for items non-relevant to your meeting.
It’s that easy
And that’s all it takes, folks! As you continuously hone your facilitation skills, perhaps you can influence your co-workers to follow suit.