Keeping meetings all about business

July 1, 2009 Categorized in: Meetings

Problem: Your department meetings have too much socializing, especially at the beginning. People are complaining that the weekly gathering runs longer than it should. Advice: Address it with the group by citing some specifics, says Amy Henderson of Henderson Training.
When Angie shares her opinions in meetings, she feels the group tunes her out. Sometimes, others make decisions about her workspace without even asking for her input …  Jennifer Webb, a consultant, trainer and coach, offers this advice for making your voice heard.
Meetings can be brutally boring. They can be too frequent, too long and too unproductive. You may think you can’t do anything to make a meeting more efficient and results-oriented—you aren’t the person leading it, right? But Amy Henderson, Henderson Training Inc., believes you can do a lot to influence a meeting.

Whittle down scheduling time

June 5, 2009 Categorized in: MeetingsOrganizing

Two online tools to help you manage schedules when everyone isn’t on the same calendar system: Meeting Agent and Shiftboard.
Workers can feel left behind when some employees are “allowed” to work from home, while they are firmly planted at the office. “The co-worker who has to stay behind has to get over that, as much as a manager has to get over the idea that the only way to manage is by ‘face time,’” says Rose Stanley, an employee benefits specialist with WorldatWork.
Taking minutes wasn’t getting any easier for Terri Michaels, even after years of practice. Finally, she enrolled in a workshop, and things changed. Now she uses these 10 best practices.
New bosses are popping up lately, as more offices streamline staff. If that’s the case in your office, cast yourself in the best possible light—quickly. Follow this advice from executive recruiter Jay Gaines and executive coach Licia Hahn.
At Progress Energy’s quarterly “compliments and concerns” meeting, senior administrative assistant Amy Finelli uses a template for minute taking. As a result, she can quickly send out notes after the meeting “because I don’t have to figure out how to organize the topics,” she says. Here are a few more of Finelli’s power tools for meetings:
Straddling the line between “smart” and “smarty pants” can be tricky. How do you show off what you know—and become more visible around the office—without alienating people with a showy attitude? Here’s a strategy to employ at department meetings:
The time-waster meeting is a common fixture in offices across America. The reason, says Reid Hastie, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, is that we’re not thinking about and valuing our time the right way.
One of the best ways to come up with creative ideas is to hold a “greenhousing” session where ideas are nurtured before they’re judged, says Dave Lewis, who runs ?What if! The Innovation Company.
Admin Brooke Wiseman knew that administrative professionals in her company weren’t being used in the most productive ways. For example, some shared the same title but had wide variations in duties. Her goal was to bring more value to the company by turbocharging the partnerships between executives and their assistants. Here’s how she did it.

Is your group really thinking?

February 5, 2009 Categorized in: MeetingsTeamwork

Collaboration works, until it starts to resemble groupthink. That’s when healthy dissent evaporates, self-defeating tendencies surge and negative emotions corrode the group’s work. Make sure your team is working more like the Manhattan Project and less like Enron.