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Friday, November 04, 2016

Good Meetings

As an educator, I attend a fair share of meetings. These are attributes of good meetings I want to stay mindful of:

Structure
Good meetings follow a good structure. When we deviate from the format too much, the meeting tends to deteriorate with regard to productivity, voice for all, and overall success.

Air Time for All
Good meetings with good structure generally give voice to all. As a talker, I have to be mindful of this.

Fact not Conjecture, Hearsay, Side Comments, or Name Calling
Name calling, hearsay, and conjecture can take a good meeting down paths you don't want to travel. These kinds of comments steer the meeting away from its focus and add information that typically derails good work. It's best to meet all issues head on rather than with lots of side talk.

Preparation and Research
If you want to get your point across, it's good to prepare and if necessary, research. Without preparation, good evidence, and thoughtful execution, it's likely that your point will be lost. I learned this the hard way recently.

Active Listening and Respect
It's good to show respect and actively listen at meetings. It's so easy to interrupt, but rarely the right thing to do. It's also easy to quickly judge, but again not in anyone's best interest to do that.

Empathy and Compassion
As we work to support the team, empathy and compassion are critical. We all bring different skills and strengths to meetings and it's important to understand that at every meeting.

Good meetings have the potential to elevate the work we do, and with teaching that means we can serve children better which is very rewarding. In a short time, I'll get to practice what I preach at one more meeting.