3 Things We ALWAYS Do When Planning a Meeting
Contextualize, Conduct, Connect
Mapping out the “lay of the land” is essential to planning a highly effective meeting. The meeting context includes the nuances that come from your unique participants, the emerging situations that effect the work and, most importantly, the desired outcomes hoped for at the end of the day.
Understanding the context helps you to design a meeting with a pace and level of content that moves issues forward while not speeding too fast, skimming the surface and losing participants. It also equips you to clearly articulate meeting outcomes so that you and the participants aren’t confused about why they are at the table.
Think orchestra…think managing many moving parts… When we “conduct,” we choose, adapt and integrate key facilitation strategies that are most likely to produce the outcomes we are after, with the people present and the resources available.
We’re after GREAT music, that inspires emotion, commitment, participation and innovative thinking. This happens when we plan the variables of a meeting before hand, but also are very prepared to pivot and improvise in the moment.
When all is said and done, productive meetings require positive relationships that build trust, spark new thinking and help both avoid and navigate common meeting messes. When we plan a meeting, we design ways to strengthen the connections between facilitator and participants, among participants and with the meeting content itself.