Biz Tips: Efficient and Effective Meetings – Tip 1
The most powerful meeting tool is the Facilitator. Without a competent and effective person at the helm, most meetings go out of control either by complacency, lack of understanding, or they get hijacked by the loudest person in the group. No matter which of the scenarios happen, it ends up a disaster and nothing gets decided and therefore nothing gets done.
A good Facilitator has excellent communication skills, both assertive speaking and empathic listening. He or she must know the meeting agenda and know the people so that when it comes time to assign tasks, strengths and weaknesses are taken into account. The Facilitator must have good boundaries, setting time requirements and knowing when to dig into an issue and when to put it in the parking lot for a later date. I have been in too many meetings where the executives were late and because there were no time restrictions, some people droned on for what seemed like hours. Insisting that participants show up on time and prepared is one of the signs of a good Facilitator. Sending out the agenda before the meeting is a good way to help participants save time by being ready with discussions and questions.
If you have someone with the above skills, then ask yourself one more question about this person. Is he or she open minded and humble? In other words, can they brainstorm without judgment and then put their ego aside if someone else has a better or more creative idea than their own?