Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Effective TEAM MEETINGS - Part 1

Yesterday, my husband's family (parents, siblings and spouses) had a meeting to discuss some long overdue and vital topics regarding `parent care.'

To say that there are strong personalities amongst this particular gathering of folk would be an understatement. I am fairly certain that the delay in the get together was pure avoidance on everyone's part. Not unlike the west, where this time of year a mere spark can set off a forest fire, the potential for a full blown inferno is usually quite high when this group gathers.

In an attempt to circumvent; we resourced a few basic meeting techniques acquired over the years in my direct selling business.

The results, I am pleased to announce were truly beyond amazing. Today, I share the basics of what worked for us.

WHERE? - The meeting was held at a central location that was easy for everyone to get to.
TICK-TOCK - We set a beginning and an END to the meeting (with an emphasis on the END) - as no one wanted to blow their entire Sunday.
WHAT? We had an agenda that was pre-determined, TIMED, and sent out ahead of time to all parties. Copies of the agenda were also available at the meeting.
JOBS! We assigned a facilitator to keep the discussion moving along, a secretary to take notes and a time-keeper (essential in keeping things from getting bogged down)
VISUAL AIDS - A dry erase board served as our “parking lot”. Items raised that were considered to be `rabbit trails' were assigned a place in the parking lot and brought up again for discussion at the end of the meeting. This was invaluable!
REFRESHMENTS - minimal - basically, bring your own beverage.
PARTICIPATION - All parties were encouraged to participate - with no judgment or steam rolling allowed.
IN SUMMARY - At the end of the meeting, we overviewed what had been decided, who was assigned what tasks, deadlines for said tasks, and a meeting date assigned for the next get together.
All in all, the results were amazing. Difficult topics were addressed with some headway made, and for the most part, everyone's toes were in tact. I have no doubt that all this was accomplished, because of the willing attitudes of those in attendance, but also because the `rules' of the day had been set in advance in the form of basic meeting organization.

Tomorrow in Part 2, we will discuss this topic in more detail - including the `why's.

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