Want to drive more impact? Over the next few weeks, the focus on my blog posts will be about how to help club leaders drive membership growth and impact by HOW they lead their clubs. Let's start with how to run a better board or committee meeting. I believe that respect for others' time is one of the most valuable gifts we can give to our fellow Rotary members.
These ideas come from the American Management Association and were presented on a recent AMA Webcast by Hamilton College faculty member and Vital Visions Consulting principal Susan Mason, who specializes in personal, public and organizational communication. Here are 10 Golden Rules for Leading Productive Meetings, with a few of my observations from a Rotary context.
1. Know the results you want.
Take some time before each meeting to decide what you want to accomplish. What decisions, what actions, what consensus do you want to achieve? What information will be needed to reach those outcomes? Make sure information is sent in advance to people can review it - and set the expectation that the materials must be reviewed before the meeting.
During the meeting, keep your goals in mind to keep the meeting on track.
2. Position people to add value
Get people engaged and thinking about the meeting by sending questions instead of topics when you send out the meeting agenda. Call specific individuals so they can be prepared to contribute their specific knowledge. This also helps people avoid being blindsided and helps them ensure they put their best foot forward.
During the meeting, draw people into the meeting by asking them about their view on the topic. This can be especially valuable if you have team members who like to dominate the conversation.
3. Model the conduct you expect
If you expect people to listen, to power-off their cell phones, to be prepared, then demonstrate that by your own actions. If others have the floor, don't check emails or scroll through text messages. Display active listening techniques. "Listen with your whole body."