Harmonious Meetings don’t just happen. They are the result of setting the stage for success. At Northern Edge Algonquin we’ve been hosting meetings for almost twenty years with team members responsible for delivering experiences at our Algonquin Park home.
Over the years we’ve had many successful meetings and others that have dragged on, or left us wondering why we met in the first place.
Today I present a few ideas that have recently come to me that provide a template for planning effective meetings. I hope you find them helpful. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
What Harmonious meetings look like:
- Agree on the focus / intention of the meeting.
- Make space and time request for meeting. Provide invitations or meeting requests with enough lead time to meet everyone’s needs.
- Set space appropriately to ensure focus. Remove distractions and limit interruptions. Agree on the rules/expectations for cell phone use. Announce conflicts that may arise before starting.
- Plan scheduled time, place and agenda. Stick to it. Start on time. Keep the focus. End early.
- Share information by email or calendar ahead of meeting time so parties can be completely prepared.
- Focus time on making promises and requests.
- For information sharing, consider an online message board or shared online document. Provide opportunities for folks to provide input when convenient. Everyone doesn’t have to be in the same place at the same time to gather team ideas.
- For impromptu vs scheduled meetings, give permission for either party to put off meeting or say ‘No’ to impromptu meeting requests.
Keep records of decisions made, actions agreed to, and responsible parties for next steps. Share minutes of meeting as early as possible afterwards.
What are your suggestions for planning harmonious meetings?