Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
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    11-15-12 How to have a meeting that produces results

    I’ll be facilitating a meeting this weekend and the meeting has a very specific purpose: to identify ideas that have the greatest level of consensus, and to feed these ideas back to a national organization.

    I know that many of the people coming will have strong opinions, and my challenge as the facilitator will be to let their opinions be voiced, but to not let them dominate or take over the meeting.

    My guess is that many of you have been in similar situations.

    The key to having a productive meeting is to create a good agenda and stick to it.  Here is how I design the agenda and plan for a productive meeting:

    • I have a set of clear goals for what the meeting is intended to accomplish;
    • I create a simple agenda and follow it as much as possible; I won’t be rigid, and I allow people to contribute their ideas, but I do keep people focused on the main goals of the meeting
    • I usually allow one and a half hours for the meeting, but in this case I will have twp hours so that people will have a little time to socialize at the beginning,
    • As the facilitator, it will be my job to keep everyone focused on the agenda and assures that no single voice dominates

    One of my favorite tools that I’ll be using will be to “laundry-list” ideas as they are suggested, and when everyone seems to be satisfied that all of the ideas have been heard, I’ll invite people to come up and choose three (or five, depending on how long the list is) as their top priorities.

    Every time I use this tool – listing ideas and having people prioritize – a clear consensus always emerges.  And, this provides a good tangible result from a meeting that can be passed along or used for making decisions.

    My overall goal is to have everyone leave a meeting smiling and feeling confident and comfortable that they were able to share their ideas, hear what others had to say and feel that their time was honored and well spent.

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