| RECRUITING & RETENTION
~ November 2006 ~ TopicsMeeting To Get Things Done
Faulty Thinking About the Future
Meeting To Get Things Done
The bane of the modern workers life is the meeting.
Here are some tips to make things happen in your next meeting and subsequent
Plan early. Think about who needs to be there. A good way to
determine this is to ask yourself this question: "If the person I
invited sent me a bill for their hours at the meeting would I be will
to pay it?" Ask people to come preparedthree questions or ideas
on the topic are distributed in advance. Never regret sending reminders.
Even close to the day of the session. Busy people can forget thingsit
is not personal.
Start on time. You set a tone for future meetings by closing
the door and starting on time. Stragglers are not likely to be late for
the next meeting.
Schedule only the time needed. Realistically estimate how long
each item should take for discussion and decision. Then set the time based
on that estimate. Avoid leaving cushion time. The tight time table forces
you and the group to stay on track and not take side trips.
Encourage participation. The best meetings are those where everyone
participates. To encourage that, use a round or square seating arrangement
where people can sit around the table and see each other as they talk.
Never stand at a meeting, it conveys the message that you are the "speaker."
Set objectives for the meeting. Write down in advance what you
want to accomplish at the meeting. This is not the agenda items, but rather
the outcome of the meeting. Share this central purpose with others at
Start and end easy. The meeting should begin with relatively
simple subjects or decision. End that way, too. Save the meaty stuff for
Emphasize the positive in agenda items. If the topic is one dealing
with negatives turn it to a positives for discussion purposes. "We
do not have enough volunteers for Thursday evening." Turn it into.
"We want to increase the number of people serving on Thursday evening."
Keep individuals on topic. Put a sheet of easel paper on the
wall and have a stack of post-its on the table. If a topic comes up that
is not germane to the discussion, have the person raising the issue put
it up on the "Parking Lot" easel paper on the wall. Deal with
it, if time permits, at the end of the agenda, or put it on the next meetings
Break business into pieces. Not everyone needs to participate
in every decision. If there are three choices to make, split the group
of 12 people into three groups and let them discuss the pros and cons
and report back to the big group. You will get better results in about
half the time.
Categorize ideas. Try to separate suggestions into three categories.
HOT-get going on these nowMIDDLING-might be worth pursuing but needs
workCOLD-no can do.
List action items. Before leaving the meeting, compile a list
of things people have agreed to do. Review this list and be prepared to
share it with those attending the meeting.
Do a meeting summary. Formal minutes are for board meetings and
Congressional hearings. A one or two page summary is sufficient for most
Faulty Thinking About the Future
you thinking about where the volunteer program will be in three years
or maybe ten? If you are not you should be. Planning ahead prevents
catastrophes and builds strong programs. However, most people have a
biased and unreliable manner of thinking. In a new book, Don't Believe
Everything You Think, by Thomas Kida there is an outline of the
six most common reasons why there are mistakes in our thinking about
Recognizing that we can engage in "faulty" thinking can help us avoid the pitfalls. General statistics, no matter how uncomfortable are still the best predictors of the future. Keeping track of attrition rates of volunteers can.
DAILY POINTS OF LIGHT AWARD FORMS AVAILABLE
The Points of Light Foundation has forms available to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations for the Daily Points of Light Award. It is designed recognize individuals and groups that demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to community volunteering and citizen action, with a strong emphasis on service focused on the goals for children and young people set by the Presidents Summit for American's Future. The award is given five days a week, excluding holidays. If you would like nomination forms, call 202-729-8000.
By calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER in the U.S., individuals can be connected to their local volunteer center. This is a national interactive call routing system designed to get volunteers connected to people who can help them volunteer.
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