Table of Contents
Leading Meetings Effectively
Scott Powell, Asia Regional Director
- To understand the key skills required to lead meetings effectively
- To develop awareness of the preparation required, the moderating skills, and the follow up needed for effectiveness in leading group meetings.
Following this session, each participant will be able to:
- List key skills that are involved in effectively leading group meetings
- Demonstrate understanding of the preparation, moderating skills, and follow up steps for effectively leading group meetings.
Leading a group of people toward agreed upon goals is a function of leadership, and so leading meetings effectively is a skill needed by a good leader. Leading meetings effectively involves understanding the purpose of the meeting, preparing well in advance, guiding the meeting process to ensure the outcome is achieved, and following up on matters that the group has decided or action that the group has taken.
*Groups: Key skills/elements in (1) preparing, (2) leading, (3) following up a meeting effectively.
Different kinds of meetings:
- Reporting/Informational – press conference
- Decision-making – membership business session, Area Council
- Celebration – festive recognition of accomplishment
We are dealing here with the informational/decision-making meeting like the AC meeting.
Preparing for the Meeting:
*At least 50% of the effectiveness of the meeting is won or lost in preparation for the meeting.
- Scheduling – plan early to ensure full participation, adequate preparation
- Develop the agenda – invite key team leaders to contribute issues for the meeting agenda; capture the key matters that need the attention of the decision-makers for the draft agenda.
- Gather pertinent information, proposals, and reports that the decision-makers need to responsibly consider matters on the agenda.
- Analyze the agenda matters – mark each item for information/report, discussion/brainstorming, or decision. This will enable participants to prepare adequately.
- Consult with appropriate parties in preparation; some people may need more time to consider an agenda issue and advance consultation is helpful.
- Finalize the agenda – work through the time that will be appropriated for each item and work out a proposed pace for the meeting; think through priorities in the event that something cannot be addressed, and to ensure the major outcomes of the meeting are reached.
- Distribute the agenda at least one week in advance (or as agreed).
- Pray for God’s wisdom and direction through the meeting.
Leading the Meeting:
- SPACER Meeting Format:
- Spiritual connection – dependency, invite the Holy Spirit to direct thoughts, discussions, decisions.
- Purpose – set the direction (discussion, dialogue about what major themes, decisions needed)
- Agenda –
- Code of Conduct – encourage friendly debate and challenging of assumptions
- Expectations –
- Scribe (keeps notes of the meeting, a secretary)
- Swamp master (keeps the discussion on topic)
- Valet (keep note of important topics to be parked and discussed later; note action items)
- Monkey trapper (note and challenge an assumption or rationale which is keeping us from creative or daring thinking)
- Air Traffic Controller (keeps the meeting moving on time)
- As the chairperson, try to keep your role as facilitator of discussion clear from your role of influence. If you have an opinion or position to state, make clear that you are representing your position in the discussion, not stating the “law.”
- Aim for consensus, but don’t be bound by a dissenting voice.
- Clearly assign responsibility for each action point (and note these for review).
- Pacing the meeting
- Balance the need for adequate discussion of decision matters, and the need for efficiency in making sure you reach a decision in the time you have.
- If an agenda issue is taking longer than planned, ensure the group agrees to postpone discussion of other issues in order to deal with the present issue at greater length.
- Closing the meeting
- End the meeting with a note of achievement by reviewing the key actions.
- Review the action points to be taken and who is responsible.
Follow Up After The Meeting:
- Communicate decisions and actions – who needs to know of this action? Who else should be included in the “loop” for this matter? (Keep the right people informed, but do not communicate to people unnecessarily).
- Maintain accountability for matters when responsibility has been assigned to another person to follow through. Review “action points” at the close of the meeting.
- List the agenda matters deferred for the next leadership meeting.
- Review and distribute the minutes in a reasonable time frame.