and How to Use it
For a GREAT MEETING, download the agenda template and adapt it as you feel necessary.
Type of Meeting – be clear about your reason for meeting. This will send a message to the participants as to how they should participate.
Meetings can be:
- information only (a briefing)
- understanding (Q&A)
- idea generating
- teambuilding (time together to bond)
- a combination of any of the above
Facilitator – usually the leader unless you have access to a professional facilitator. Benefits od using an outside facilitator: you can TAKE PART the meeting without needing to manage the process.
Note taker – assign one person to track the general progress of the meeting in simple bullets. No need to document detailed discussions. Consider rotating this assignment. Strongly recommend tracking electronically to avoid anyone having to type in the notes later.
Time keeper – assign one person to raise a flag when you have used up the time on each agenda item. Consider rotating this assignment.
Please read – if there is an assignment for preparing the attendees, state it here.
Agenda – If there was previous meeting, then use the “Next Agenda Items” section from that meeting to be addressed in this meeting. This will ensure smooth transitioning between meetings and keep items from getting lost.
Process – this refers to the method for addressing the topic. This may be a verbal presentation, a handout, processes such as “review list and get clarification on each”, video presentation, brainstorm on the white board, or voting.
Observers and Resource persons – a great way to keep too many people from coming to a meeting is to define roles more specifically. An observer may be someone that would greatly benefit from seeing what transpires during the meeting, but may interfere if they were to participate. If someone only needs to be there to contribute something to a certain agenda item, consider him a “resource person” and have him attend for a partial meeting and leave after that.
Let both know that they are not a participant in the outcome of the meeting and should not verbally interact unless the team needs to hear from him. (Resource person will participate more than an observer).
Meeting Notes – capture brief, bulleted summaries of discussions. Listen also for any conclusions that were reached. These should be documented.
Next Agenda Items – when a subject comes up that is not appropriate for this meeting but should be talked about in the future, capture it in the minutes for a next agenda topic.
Action Items – the most important part aside from how the meeting was managed. Suggestion – send a dedicated email containing only the action item list, who is responsible, and the target date for completion.
Feel free to customize the agenda template or to use only the parts of it that are most fitting for you.