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7 Habits of Highly Effective Meeting Facilitators

April 29, 2016
7 Habits of Highly Effective Meeting Facilitators

At some point during the work week, you’re probably going to get called in for another meeting. While some meetings are productive and worthwhile, the unfortunate truth is that many meetings are simply ineffective. They take entirely too long, or they gloss over everything in an attempt to wrap up quickly. Sometimes co-workers can monopolize everyone’s time by speaking at length about off-topic items, and other times, meetings just seem to have no real purpose.

The truth is that a good meeting requires a good facilitator. And while all facilitators are completely different, all good meeting facilitators have a few things in common. Here are seven habits of highly effective meeting facilitators.

  1. They have a reason for calling a meeting

    Effective leaders make sure that each meeting has a purpose or specific goal. Not only does it provide a definite direction for the meeting, but it lets team members know that their time is valuable because they’re not being called to meetings without a clear basis.
  2. They have an agenda

    A good agenda serves as a script for a meeting; without one, meetings can lose focus, go on too long, and waste people’s time. Good meeting facilitators will write up an agenda with topics of discussion and a time allotted to each one, and they will email it to attendees at least a few hours before the meeting.
  3. They keep an eye on the clock

    Effective leaders are punctual and respectful of their colleagues’ time. They start meeting when they’re called for, then end them on time.
  4. They don’t relinquish control

    We’ve all been to those nightmarish meetings where one person just won’t keep his or her mouth shut. They have something to say about everything, it’s usually not very nice, and the result is that they often take over the meeting. However, an effective meeting facilitator will not allow this to happen by using a combination of good ground rules and civilized but firm steering of what’s being discussed.
  5. They do not tolerate distractions

    Email, texting, surfing the web — they’re all big distractions at work, and they’re especially bad when there’s a meeting going on. A good leader will insist that attendees silence their mobile devices and put them away so that business can be conducted efficiently and effectively.
  6. They include only the necessary personnel

    A good meeting facilitator will invite only the people who truly need to be present. This way, the meeting runs efficiently because there’s no learning curve and fewer uninformed comments, and no one feels like their time is wasted.
  7. They follow up on what was discussed

    The meeting may be over, but the issue at hand is probably an ongoing one. Good leaders follow up with team members to make sure that responsibilities are being taken care of and potential is being fulfilled. He or she will also call another meeting to discuss progress if it’s deemed necessary.

Be productive with the right office supplies!

With some of the best office supplies Montreal has to offer, Crites & Riddell can supply your business with everything it needs, from ink and toner to paper and business cards to ergonomic office furniture. We are an office supplies wholesale company that values its relationships with our customers so that they can be productive in meetings and as a team. 

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