2 Determine if a group meeting is necessary. After deciding what needs to be accomplished, determine whether a group meeting is necessary. Usually this process gets reversed by deciding to have a meeting and then deciding what will be discussed thereby wasting valuable time and energy.
How do we decide if a meeting is necessary? Ask:
-Does the subject warrant a meeting?
-Is it a complex subject, and no one person has all the information?
-Are the people attending interdependent, and “buy-in” and commitment, are important.
-Will a meeting attain the desired result?
-Can it be handled by routing a memo, a phone call, posting a notice, or holding one-on-one discussions?
-Will I accomplish my purpose and desired outcomes in a group meeting?
-Is there sufficient time to prepare?
-Is the timing right, or would it be better to wait for more data, or for a more appropriate time?
3 Identify meeting participants and determine when and where to meet. Who attends, where the meeting will be held, and when it will be held will affect the quality of the meeting’s outcome.
When planning your meeting, ask the following questions?
-Who should attend? Consider those with relevant information, those who will make the decision, those who will carry out the decision, those who may interfere with implementation, and all members of a team, staff or task force.
-Who would be desirable to have in attendance? Individuals with higher functional responsibility, those with general interest, and those affected indirectly should be considered.
-How large should the group be? It really depends on the meeting format. If the group is going to make decisions the number should be five to nine. Why? Fewer than five may not generate enough information or enough discussion. More than nine may create too much information and too many opinions.
-When should the meeting be held? Consider high energy times, giving participants plenty of advance notice and specific meeting times.
-Where should it be held? Consider accessibility and room facilities (lighting, noise levels, acoustics, size).