Getting the most out of meetings
May 11, 2000
Regardless how we feel about meetings, it's hard to keep a safety process going and promote continuous improvement without them. We must meet at least occasionally so team members can connect with one another and: " hold each other accountable for achieving specific tasks, " review project progress and acknowledge achievements, " discuss problems and corrective action plans, " check the time line and make mid-course corrections, " plan for the next steps and assign new task responsibilities. Let's examine what's needed to get the most out of meetings. Assign roles To begin with, meetings should be run by a designated leader or facilitator, with notes taken by the recorder. Sometimes the same person serves as both leader and facilitator, setting the tone, prompting discussion, and encouraging total participation. But often it's a good idea to have a leader and a facilitator. The facilitator takes the group through the agenda and calls for reports, comments, and suggestions. The group leader or champion offers insightful commentary and challenging observations as a regular member of the discussion group. It's a good idea to rotate the role of facilitator among the team, committee, group, or whatever you choose to call it. Giving participants the chance to direct the flow of a meeting increases both personal confidence and commitment, which leads to more involvement and a strengthen ed sense of commitment.