If we have to meet …

Then let’s make it meaningful and fun. Down with boring meetings and down with meetings that we don’t leave with more energy than we started.

I’ll be talking with volunteer leaders at the Council for Residential Specialists on ways to create more effective business and board meetings. A couple of the suggestions I’ll be sharing include:

#1 … Articulate the goal and plan the agenda to reach that goal. This includes identifying what participants need to reach the goal (e.g. reports, background, trend information, pre-meeting time to consider). Be sure to send the agenda and the materials at least 48-hours ahead of time.

#2 … Encourage inclusion. Take the time to ask each individual to weigh into the discussion. Allow “no comments” but avoid silence and absence.

#3 … Keep discussion moving. This is where you need to be the parking lot attendant (corralling off-topic discussions), hallway monitor (keeping moving), library monitor (shh’ing those side conversations) and cheerleader (rah, rah).

#4 … Assure a list of action items is maintained. ASAE’s Decision To Volunteer cites top volunteer complaint – we didn’t accomplish anything. After every discussion, log the decision and action items. At the end of the meeting close with a quick recap of actions and to-do’s. This is where you name names and due dates. Then, within 24 hours, email this recap.

#5 … Be objective and open. If you are the leader, you are the facilitator. This means you are not an active participant but rather the one who keeps their eye of the agenda, the attendees, the clock and the goal.

#6 … Add a dash of jazz. Open the meeting with an ice-breaker (Meetingsnet.com offered a list of Awesome Icebreakers) or a video or resource that inspires. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Social Media Revolution – to shift the mindset from traditional to tomorrow

Weird or Just Different – Derek Sivers’ TED talk to shift our perception to see the flip side

Choice, Happiness & Spagetti Sauce – Malcom Gladwell’s TED talk on Spagetti Sauce (& the nature of choice and happiness)

Piano Stairs – “We believe that the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better is by making it fun to do. We call it The fun theory.”

The Power of Words – Creating an awareness of how words hurt or help

Mission Driven Volunteer – Elizabeth Engel and I encourage you to think differently about volunteer

Millennial Impact Report Infographic – Three quick infographics that help explore the opportunities

How do you make your meetings more fun?