Do you run meetings or lead them?
Any meeting, whether in a conference room or on the web, can be successful, the only difference being that it should be LED by the manager or leader. All meetings need to be kicked off, managed and eventually wrapped up, whether online or not. There is a huge difference between running a meeting and leading one. That difference can mean the long-term success or failure of your team.
What's the difference? Meeting Runners and Meeting Leaders are two distinct types of people. Read more to know which side of the camp you belong to. Maybe you can tweak a thing or two and be a Meeting Leader!
A Meeting Runner:
- Schedules a meeting, briefly stating the objective.
- Kicks off the meeting and runs through the agenda in order, often getting the little administrative stuff out of the way first.
- Asks for people’s inputs, and lets those who want to contribute have their say. Usually it's the same people all the time.
- Uses the minimum technology possible to ‘keep things simple’.
- Ends the meeting on time and recaps action items.
A Meeting Leader:
- Schedules the meeting in a way that helps people to come prepared and focused. Lets people know in advance the objectives to be gained from the meeting, what should be accomplished during the meeting, what everyone's role will be and how to come prepared.
- Starts the meeting on time. The agenda is reiterated, ground rules are set and expectations of all participants are also stated. Obviously, people are accountable for the results they promise!
- Ensures that everyone has an equal chance to contribute. Online this means using every possible tool, like chat or written questions to get quality input. It also means using good facilitation skills and often calling on people who might otherwise remain silent.
- Knows the tools at his disposal, and is comfortable with the mechanics and able to make smart choices about which tools will provide the best results. Running a brainstorm session? Use the whiteboard, or a Word document to add the critical visual component.
- Documents action items and gets commitment from the parties involved. Follows up the meeting by making sure everyone knows who is accountable for what. This might be by getting a copy of the white board, recording the meeting or emailing out detailed notes. Most web platforms make it easy to capture real collaboration and share it with the team. It just takes some work.
Running a meeting is a matter of blocking the calendar and showing up. Leading one takes forethought, practice and patience, but the results for your team or your project will be worth the effort. Be a Meeting Leader today onwards!