meetings

Managing Yourself, Managing Meetings

Workshop Is your time being wasted in meetings? For example, you join a problem solving meeting attended by the right six people. But the discussion wanders aimlessly and contributes little to the solution. You feel your time was squandered and wish you would have invested your time doing something that would have made a difference […]

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Temperature Reading

Virginia Satir developed this method for discovering a group’s temperature — what we in technology often call the system’s state. A facilitator leads the discovery. He or she keeps the group focused on each agenda item; works with the group members to help them communicate information congruently; and publicly displays each contribution so the group […]

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Key Person Won’t Participate

Unable to gain the participation of a key person for a project retrospective? A retrospective, sometime called a post-mortem or lessons learned session, is an event designed to discover and preserve the aspects of a project that were managed well; and discover and change the aspects that weren’t. I consider this event a fundamental feedback […]

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The Art of the Discovery Interview

“What?” raced through Janet’s head as she read the email. “Now that’s a surprise.” The message was from Jack Johnson, vice president of development. It said she would receive a meeting request from Rajan Alak, an outside consultant, to interview her about the problems with the new system. The message went on to say the […]

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Ban Crackberries from Meetings?

Todd Wilkens advocates banning crackberries from all meetings. I agree with Todd that people distracted by emails and phone calls aren’t focused and become impediments to an effective meeting. But, in my experience, too many organizations have terribly ineffective meetings. If your organization’s meetings are terrible, will a ban on crackberries make them effective? No. […]

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Elements of Effective Management

I am fortunate to have worked on a team led by Anne Cawley early in my career. Experience working with her enabled me to know, rather than speculate, about the power of an effective manager. What elements of her management style made her effective? Congruence: She conversed with members of her team as equals rather […]

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Types of Meetings

There are different types of meetings. Each type requires a different structures and supports a different number of participants. For instance, a status (feedforward) meeting has no limit to the number of participants while a decision-making meeting produces results faster with a small number of participants. If you want to help your teams have more […]

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BOGSAT Intervention

You have heard of the fog of war. But have you heard of a BOGSAT — Big Official Group Sitting Around Talking? It’s a disease that infects organizations. Let me share with you a story about a BOGSAT intervention. I am an expert at leading meetings. I have a natural talent for following and guiding […]

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Start Meeting Punctually?

Twenty percent of the participants arrive late to the weekly meeting you lead. What do I recommend you do? It depends. Do you arrive late? If you do, I recommend that you change your behavior. Participants respond to leadership cues. You are enabling participants to excuse their behavior when you demonstrate the meeting isn’t important […]

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Rethinking Stand-Up Meetings, Part 2

I argued in my first article about stand-up meetings that the right participants were the key to a successful meeting rather than whether the participants were standing up or sitting down. Despite my dislike for forcing people to stand up, I mentioned in that article my positive regard for other elements of the standard stand-up […]

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