Meeting Wise

Is every meeting at your school about learning?

Does every meeting connect to ongoing work and goals?

Do you come out of every meeting with a plan for action or a sense of where to go next?

To be honest, we often used to go round in circles in our meetings, talk at the same time, interrupt each other… We are a passionate bunch, and it was never through disrespect, rather a result of caring a great deal, having lots of ideas, wanting our opinions heard..

Since introducing Meeting Wise agendas, our meetings have become much more focused.

The Meeting Wise authors highlight four aspects for careful consideration when planning successful meetings:

  • Purpose
  • Process
  • Preparation
  • Pacing

Today in our meetings: 

  • The objectives are clear
  • Participants come prepared
  • Everyone has a voice
  • We have clear, expected norms
  • The content of the meeting relates directly to the stated objectives
  • Participants have turns to take on roles of facilitator, timekeeper, note taker, so…
  • Everyone has a sense of ownership
  • There is a sense of true collaboration within groups
  • Distributive leadership is fostered
  • We usually have fun!
  • We use effective protocols to ensure all the above
  • Participants leave with a clear sense of the next steps

I took most of these statements from the plus /delta we do at the end of meetings, in which participants share what went well and what could be improved. This is usually addressed at the start of the next meeting of the particular group.

Learning Team Leaders have received a copy of Meeting Wise and all teams are gradually improving their meetings by implementing the suggested procedures and protocols and adapting them to our needs.

Highly recommended!

(See my earlier post in which I applied the Meeting Wise questions to classroom learning.)

3 thoughts on “Meeting Wise

  1. What a pleasure to come out of meetings feeling like a goal has been accomplished rather than feeling like there is always unfinished business! I actually now look forward to meetings and feel that they are a valuable use of time.

    Like

  2. If you work out how much a meeting actually costs (cost per person per hour x number of people) they need to be productive. One of my key gripes is the actual agenda. Too often they do not give enough information about the topics to be discussed to allow preparation and the result is gossip and opinion. Two years ago my frustrations got the better of me and I wrote to the God of “Managed Meetings”!

    Here is what I said. http://wp.me/p2LphS-10

    Like

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