Practical Guidance for Constructive Meetings With High Quality and High Volume Output

There are a number of internal (personal thinking inhibitors) and external suppressants (group and inter-personal behaviours) that limit our ability to be creative, innovative and solve problems.

One major area that can greatly assist with all of these is in understanding how group thinking either contributes or fails to contribute to this important subject.

This article aims to expand on how we can maximise thinking and idea generation in group thinking sessions (meetings).

This can be an area of much frustration not only for the participants but also for the facilitator (I speak from experience as a seasoned facilitator with over twenty years behind me, both in the driving seat and as a workshop leader).

Listening to clients and workshop participants the comments we often hear are ‘meeting are unproductive’, ‘there are too many meetings’, ‘some people always seem to dominate’, ‘not everyone contributes’, ‘I don’t know why I was at that meeting’, ‘some people are so negative’, ‘meetings are too long’ to mention but a few!

I am aiming to share some ideas and approaches that are proven to help with these issues. Developed and enhanced over time, many of our clients have benefited from their application bringing a new dimension to managing thinking in their workplace. Through their application, we have seen immediate and tangible benefits delivered, in many cases resolving some real and long standing business issues that have preoccupied people’s minds for many months.

As you read on, you may decide that there is Construct great arguments little that is startling or radically new in the ideas and approaches, you may decide that it is all common sense. We believe that it is the obvious simplicity that enables people to ‘buy in’ to the ideas and approaches and to immediately apply them.

Agenda and Timetable

Agenda – One of the golden rules of meetings is to have one!

Obvious, yes – but often I witness meetings without a clear defined or understood agenda. Given the context of this article, one very sound reason for having an agenda is to distribute it to all attendees prior to attendance (where appropriate). The rationale is simple, for those items where prior thinking and idea generation will be beneficial, the distribution of an agenda will allow time for both to take place so that those attending are suitable prepared and in a position to best contribute. An additional benefit is that attendees may see omissions or unnecessary agenda items that can be tweaked before the meeting takes place.


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