- Is there a clear objective defined which warrants the meeting? Is it necessary (as a meeting) or can (at least some of) it happen through 1:1s or on Social Networks? Does the objective provide clarity over why it is required and what it is to achieve? Fat Words vs. SMART
- Is there a timed agenda for the meeting included in the invite? Does the agenda make clear what questions need to be answered in what order? Have appropriate blocks of time been laid out for each? Is it clear where preparation is required to support this, and have people been appointed to do this? Session Plans
- Has an appropriate facility been set up for the meeting? Has the need for virtual or physical facilities been properly evaluated? Has the ‘room’ been configured for efficiency? Are tools and resources fully functioning and in sufficient quantity? Are there spares? Are people bringing what they need? Internet options for meetings
- Has everything been done to maximise the ability to participate? Does everybody have sight of what they need? Has pre-reading been made available, and is it concise? Is there time/space to move around and take breaks? Do people have the required access codes/directions? Meeting room set ups
- Did actions have clear deliverables and agreed timescales? Were actions clearly identified within the meeting, documented and circulated? Are they defined in SMART terms? Do they have specified owners who are capable and committed to ensuring they are fulfilled? Action Minutes
- Has progress been reviewed to ensure it remains on track? Are the management processes which have been adopted sufficient to ensure milestones are met? Is slippage learned from such that performance on actions improves each meeting? Is the performance of the meeting itself reviewed collectively? WWW/AFI – What went well / Areas for improvement
- Is the whole meeting a good use of all the attendees time? Have all the people necessary for success been invited? Do they need to be there for the whole meeting? Will they find the meeting a good use of their time? Does it make sense to break it down into two or more shorter meetings with different participants? Who should I invite to my meetings?
- Is there an agreed set of groundrules for good participation? Do people know what is expected of them and what they can expect from others in the meeting? Is there an explicit agreement which can be used by anyone to identify and challenge poor participation if and when it occurs? Guidance on meeting groundrules
- Will the meeting ensure a good balance of participation? Does the process accommodate different learning styles – is there a good balance of listening and activity? Do you have strategies to ensure a good balance of input – to engage the quiet and to prevent domination by others? Kolb’s Learning Cycle
- Is the meeting set up to engage all attendees in all its topics? Is there benefit for (or from) everyone in all the topics? Will it be clear to them what that benefit will be – will their expectations be managed/fulfilled? If not, is there a more efficient way to engage their knowledge and ideas? Mixed meetings and mediums
- Does the timing of agenda items reflect an efficient process? Has each agenda item been costed? Do the benefits of what is likely to be achieved on each item warrant those costs? Have more efficient methods (e.g. multi-channel input or use of social forums) been considered to speed up the process? The concept of a multi-channel approach
- Did the meeting keep to the agenda and its timing? Were digressions quickly identified and addressed? Was good use made of the ‘parking lot’ to handle important off-topic insights? Were sufficient breaks scheduled, and were people punctual? Was there a clock? Was it used to keep people to time? ‘Parking Lot’ Principles PowerPoint Timers
- Did the meeting design take account of current best practices? Was the person who structured the meeting familiar with best practice meeting techniques? Were the various agenda items considered to see if they would benefit from these techniques? Was a selection matrix used to guide this? Meeting Tool Selection
- Have tools been employed to maximise attendee engagement? Have options for multi-channel participation been considered: syndicates; post-it notes; wall templates; sticky-dots etc.? To what extent did the meeting generate activity beyond presentations and round-table discussions or Q&A? Principles of multi-channel thinking
- Does the agenda schedule specific time to explore options? Is specific time planned into the meeting to explore creative options and alternatives to otherwise obvious solutions? Do attendees recognise the value and importance of such activity? Is creative input actively encouraged? Are cynics challenged? Icebreakers, questions and creative exercises
- Does the meeting use tools/questions to think outside the box? To what extent does any item on the agenda utilise paradigm-shifting processes and questions? Are creativity tools such as SCAMPER, problem restatement, reframing (or even simple brainstorming) used? Creativity Tools
- Was the leader able to focus on process rather than content? Did they have a process within which they were confident the content could take care of itself? Was the leader seen as sufficiently independent to allow facilitation? Were they able to provide input purely through questions and process instructions? Facilitation Introduction What is ‘Meta’?
- Were conflicts and interaction problems efficiently resolved? To what extent was the leader free to simply monitor the flow of things? Did they recognise emerging conflict and problem behaviours early? Were they trusted and respected to facilitate productive resolution of these issues? Questions to understand what is going on
- Is consensus reaching used to ensure shared commitment? Are the principles of consensus reaching understood? Do people follow the rules constructively? Is sufficient time allowed to ensure consensus on particularly important decisions? Do people fully abide with the outcome? Consensus Reaching Building commitment
- Is there an agreed personal development aspect to the meeting? Are the development opportunities for each individual within recurring or project meetings recognised? Is there a planned and agreed aspiration for these? Are people given roles within the meeting to help them pursue that development? Developing performance AND potential
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