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Chapter 6. Meetings: Time-Wasters or Pro... > Set the Stage for Successful Session... - Pg. 62

Meetings: Time-Wasters or Productivity Tool? 62 · Use the meeting to give members recognition and reward for outstanding work. · Have members report on their successes. This sets an example to the others and encourages them. · Have pep talks given by the leader or by invited guests. Who's Invited? Invite only appropriate participants. This is of particular concern when meetings include people from teams other than your own. Most team meetings are limited to team members, but when projects involve more than one team, it may be advantageous to include representatives from the partici- pating group. Quite often, many of the people who attend a meeting are not involved in the matters that are discussed. Not only does this waste their time, but their obvious boredom puts a damper on the meeting for everyone. Invite only individuals who have knowledge and ideas that you know can contribute to the discussion or those who can learn something that they should know in order to perform their work. Getting Organized The key to the success of any meeting is the agenda. What will be discussed at the meeting must be carefully planned before it is even scheduled. Determining in advance not only what subjects will be addressed but also the order in which they will be covered will make the meeting run smoothly. In establishing the sequence of topics, put the most important or complex at the beginning of the program. People come to meetings with clear minds and are able to approach these serious matters more effectively early in the meeting. If scheduled for later, not only are people likely to be less attentive, if it's a key matter, they may be thinking about it while other matters are being discussed, and not give adequate attention. Clarify the objective of the meeting. Objectives vary. Some meetings are of a general nature covering a variety of matters that are related to the team's work. Others are called to discuss a specific project or problem. Some meetings are devoted to training in new skills or refreshing old skills. Still others are to motivate the team. Team Terms An agenda is a list of things to be done at a meeting. Effective meeting leaders carefully prepare the agenda and control the meeting to ensure the agenda is complied with. The agenda should be directly related to your objective. One of the most common reasons for meeting failure is the inclusion of nonrelevant subjects in an agenda. If the meeting's objective is to discuss cutting costs in a procedure, don't include an item on the company's forthcoming bowling tournament. Any member of the team may be asked to prepare the agenda. If you're the one chosen for that chore, here are some suggestions: