28 May Meeting Ground Rules
Posted at 20:10h in Business
In one of my previous articles, I wrote about the different types of monsters you get at meetings. But we did not look at how best to run a meeting. I find setting ground rules at the start has a great effect on meetings and how people view them. And they are great to refer back to when someone breaks a rule.
- Issue the agenda in advance of the meeting to ensure all attendees are on the same page.
- Appoint a facilitator, minute taker and time-keeper to keep the meeting on track.
- Don’t be tempted to try to handle all three meetings roles – it does not work!
- Use the agenda regularly to summarise what has been covered so far and to signpost what is still to be dealt with.
- Start and finish the meetings on time, there is nothing worse than having meetings running on past the agreed time as everyone concentrates on what they have to do next rather than focus on what has not been dealt with in the current meeting.
- Only one person speaks at a time; no interruptions whilst someone is speaking.
- Everyone in the meeting expresses their own views, rather than speaking for others at the table or attributing motives to them.
- Avoid grandstanding (i.e., extended comments/speaking), so that everyone has a fair chance to speak.
- No personal attacks. Challenge ideas, not people.
- Everybody will seek to focus on the merits of what is being said, making a good faith effort to understand the concerns of others. Questions of clarification are encouraged. Disparaging comments are discouraged.
- Everybody to follow the “no surprises” rule. Concerns should be voiced when they arise, not later in the deliberations when a “surprise” objection is raised.
- Each person will seek to identify options or proposals that represent shared interests, without minimizing legitimate disagreements. Each person agrees to do their best to take account of the interests of the group as a whole.
- Each person reserves the right to disagree with any proposal and accepts responsibility for offering alternatives that accommodates their interests and the interests of others.