Eric Jacobson

Archive for the ‘Meetings’ Category

How To Run A Meeting

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Meetings on July 11, 2017 at 9:49 am

Here are some great tips from authors Michael Mankins and Eric Garton about how to run meetings that work:

  • Be sure a meeting is appropriate. Meetings are great for gathering input and coming to a group decision. They aren’t so good for drafting a strategy document, for example. Ensure a meeting is the best way to get the job done.
  • Set a clear — and selective — agenda. A clear agenda communicates priorities. It also tells people what they can safely postpone or ignore.
  • Insist on advance preparation.
  • Practice good meeting hygiene. Start on time. Clarify the purpose of every meeting. Spell out people’s roles in decisions. Create a decision log that captures every decision made in a meeting.
  • End early, particularly if the meeting is going nowhere.

Mankins and Garton are the authors of the book, Time, Talent, Energy.

How To Hold Effective Virtual Meetings

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Meetings, Virtual Meetings on December 7, 2014 at 9:13 am

Virtual Meetings

Business leaders and employees are holding virtual meetings more than ever. Despite the cost-saving and other advantages, virtual meetings versus in-person meetings have their challenges. One of the largest is because participants cannot bond in the same way as they do when they are sitting across the table from one another.

In the book, The Collaboration Imperative, co-authors Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese, recommend you follow these 10 tips for making your virtual meeting successful, particularly when you are leading the meeting:

  1. Before the meeting, make sure attendees have all the preparation materials they will need and the time to review them.
  2. Begin with a quick warm-up. For example, start the meeting by asking remote attendees to describe what’s happening in their office, town or city.
  3. During “blended” meetings, where some attendees are gathering in person and others are participating virtually, address remote attendees first and then offer the opportunity to speak to in-person attendees.
  4. Identify in-person attendees. In-room speakers–whether presenting or making occasional comments–should introduce themselves so that remote attendees know who is speaking and “learn” their voices.
  5. Ask remote attendees to be vocal. Emphasize that it is their responsibility to let in-person people know if they cannot hear or follow the discussion.
  6. Rotate meeting times. Ensure that each time zone has a meeting scheduled during normal business hours.
  7. Solicit participation. Regularly ask remote attendees if they have comments and encourage participants to speak up.
  8. Assign a meeting monitor.
  9. Avoid colloquialisms, acronyms and corporate-speak.
  10. Wrap up by documenting key discussion points, decisions and action items.

11 Ground Rules For Meeting Participants

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Meetings on July 1, 2014 at 8:23 pm

While recently reading C. Elliott Haverlack’s new book, Unbundle It, I found his 11 ground rules for meeting behaviors to be particularly helpful:

  1. Arrive on time.
  2. Be respectful of other attendees.
  3. No phones or computers if at all possible.
  4. No leaving the meeting or getting up to walk around until scheduled breaks.
  5. No eating unless during working meal meetings (consuming beverages as appropriate is acceptable).
  6. No side conversations.
  7. Good posture.
  8. Listen intently (even if you don’t want to).
  9. Ask questions at the appropriate time.
  10. No filibustering.
  11. Take notes.

9 Ways To Improve Your Virtual Meetings

In Effective Communications, Engaging Employees, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Skills, Meetings, Team Building, Virtual Meetings on July 29, 2012 at 6:49 am

Business leaders and employees are holding virtual meetings more than ever.  Despite the cost-saving and other advantages, virtual meetings versus in-person meetings have their challenges.  One of the largest is because participants cannot bond in the same way as they do when they are sitting across the table from one another.

In the new book, The Collaboration Imperative, co-authors Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese, recommend you follow these 10 tips for making your virtual meeting successful, particularly when you are leading the meeting:

  1. Before the meeting, make sure attendees have all the preparation materials they will need and the time to review them.
  2. Begin with a quick warm-up.  For example, start the meeting by asking remote attendees to describe what’s happening in their office, town or city.
  3. During “blended” meetings, where some attendees are gathering in person and others are participating virtually, address remote attendees first and then offer the opportunity to speak to in-person attendees.
  4. Identify in-person attendees.  In-room speakers–whether presenting or making occasional comments–should introduce themselves so that remote attendees know who is speaking and “learn” their voices.
  5. Ask remote attendees to be vocal.  Emphasize that it is their responsibility to let in-person people know if they cannot hear or follow the discussion.
  6. Rotate meeting times. Ensure that each time zone has a meeting scheduled during normal business hours.
  7. Solicit participation.  Regularly ask remote attendees if they have comments and encourage participants to speak up.
  8. Assign a meeting monitor.
  9. Avoid colloquialisms, acronyms and corporate-speak.
  10. Wrap up by documenting key discussion points, decisions and action items.

How Not To Run A Meeting

In Company Culture, Effective Communications, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Meetings on September 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm

At the next meeting you lead, don’t:

  • Hold it if the meeting will seem unnecessary to your participants.
  • Allow attendees to use their PDAs/laptops for personal reasons.
  • Let participants interrupt each other.
  • Go beyond your scheduled time.

Those don’ts are the biggest meeting pet peeves according to an Accountemps survey of 1,000 senior managers, as recently reported in USA Today.

Instead, ensure you are doing these techniques to ensure you hold effective meetings:

  1. Limit attendance. Include only decision makers and key implementors.
  2. Use an agenda. Give each topic a time limit. Ask your staff to help set the agenda so they’ll know the meeting will be relevant.
  3. Make sure attendees know at the meeting’s beginning the benefit of why they are in the meeting.
  4. Create a not-on-the agenda list of topics that will be tabled for after the meeting or for another meeting.
  5. Set immediate deadlines for carrying out all decisions that are made during the meeting.
  6. Start your meetings on time, and don’t cut into employee’s personal time at lunch or after work.
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