The facilitator is usually the “driver” of the meeting. She helps the group understand and achieve their objective(s), assists the group in following the agenda and staying on schedule. The facilitator should ensure that notes are taken. Often, but not always, the facilitator is the person who initiates and schedules the meetings.
Before the meeting , an objective (or set of objectives) for the meeting should be drafted and communicated to the entire group. The objective should follow SMART criteria: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
If you are meeting to make a series of decisions, state what specific decisions need to be made.
Having an agenda is essential for keeping a meeting focused and timely. Whenever possible, circulate the agenda ahead of time so attendees can:
a) determine the important of their presence at the meeting and prioritize their schedule accordingly, and
b) prepare for the meeting.
In agendas I draft, I always include the following:
It sounds simple, but before you schedule a meeting, ask yourself if you really need one. Can you clearly state your objective and draft an agenda?
Include complete participation instructions every time, even for regular meetings with regular participants. The reason for this is that you want as few barriers to attending your meeting and being on time for it as possible.
Date and time and physical location (if there is one) and any special access instructions
Because people’s time is precious, we should be mindful when requesting and utilizing it.
There are several aspects to being mindful of your participants’ time:
One of the most important things you can do during a meeting is to ensure that good notes are taken.
Taking notes has the following benefits:
A good meeting is not complete until you’ve distributed and recorded the revised meeting notes (or minutes), with key decisions and action items clearly indicated.
The complete agenda and note-taking process looks like this:
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