- Clear objectives and agenda outline what the meeting is to achieve and how, and it may therefore be obvious to people, by virtue of their role and responsibilities, why they have been invited. These may be sufficient in cases where people can safely assume what is likely to be expected of them at the meeting.
- Groundrules help to clarify more general expectations of how people are to participate in the meeting
- Use of a Parking Lot within the meeting helps to reinforce the focus of the meeting and re-establish the implicit contract of why people are present
- A Hopes and Concerns exercise provides a collective means for individuals to establish their own personal contract with the meeting, both in terms of expectations by the meeting, and in terms of what value they are seeking from the meeting
- Pre-meetings (interviews) with people prior to the (first) meeting can help to clarify exactly what the attendees are seeking from the meeting, and what the meeting will be seeking from the attendees. This can be documented and reviewed, and will help to keep things focused and productive.
- Where you are concerned that success for the meeting may require development of a particular attendee (either in skills or in attitude), this can be contracted with the individual beforehand and set in the context of periodic developmental reviews within the programme of meetings. Where the individual is not a direct report, it may be prudent to involve their line manager in this process, if only for updates.
- There may also be a need to conduct ‘difficult conversations’ from time to time where individuals need to step-up-their-game.
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