In order for meetings to be effective the meeting facilitator needs to lead, by that I mean, someone who knows how to stay on task, and avoid allowing participants to “get off-track”. Please review my post concerning effective meetings before proceeding.
At a recent meeting, supposedly conducted with Robert’s Rules of Order (Robert’s Rules were developed because of poor meeting facilitation), one attendee paid a compliment to another attendee. The complimented attendee took it upon himself to talk for minutes about himself, and his project, which had nothing to do with the meeting. The facilitator should have ended the conversation after a minute or two.
An interesting side note is that the facilitator normally doesn’t allow this to happen, but since the facilitator and attendee are friends, this behavior was allowed to occur. Unfortunately the purpose of the meeting got derailed for a time.
Pitfalls I’ve experienced:
• Facilitators who did not call on those who were not participating in the meeting (not participating for one reason or another). Lack of participation allowed those with “agendas” to be heard and changed the outcome of the meeting.
• I’ve watched facilitators whose behavior and speech indicated they were either forced to facilitate, and/or lacked knowledge of the subject. Other times, facilitators were verbally abusive, possessed a high need for “air time” (like the example above), or lacked organization, and interpersonal skills.
• Facilitators who created insecurity in participants due to previous experiences between facilitator and participant.
My six posts on effective meetings is very important for those who conduct regular meetings. Behavior exhibited, referenced in these posts, could negatively impact the purpose/goal of meetings as well as the facilitator.
Behavior #5: People don’t tell the truth. There’s plenty of conversation, but not much candor. ERIC MATSON
Next: “Respect” personal stories