Effective Meeting Practices

1) How to Run an Effective Meeting (CBS Moneywatch, 2007) Read this first! A concise, well-organized and thoughtful article that applies to meetings in any profession. Information found here will be repeated in the articles below.

2) 8 Ways to Improve Leadership Team Meetings (Nonprofit World, 2005) Another take on effective meetings.  Substitute "Leadership Team" in this one with "Department." Two interesting ideas here: point #3 suggests turning each agenda item into a question at the beginning of the meeting. If the item can't be turned into a question, it's not ready for prime time.  And point #4 suggests to establish ahead of time what constitutes a decision within the department -- 100% consensus, a majority, etc.

3) Improving Faculty Conversations (Educational Leadership, 2002) Among other points, this article suggests four strategies for improving open discussions, including one strategy called "Six Points of View," where faculty intentionally looks at an issue from the perspective of superintendent, principal, teacher, parent, student, and community leader.

4) Planning and Preparing for Faculty Meetings (ASCD Book, 2007) A chapter from Leading Effective Meetings, Teams and Work Groups in Districts and Schools. This more detailed article suggests working with staff to develop norms for expected meeting behavior. 

5) Using Meetings to Create Cohesion (American Council on Education, 2003) Another chapter from a leadership book to help us avoid interpersonal minefields: "Chairs need help steering through interpersonal mine fields during meetings, especially if they want to achieve results and promote departmental cohesion. Finally, meetings are doomed for failure when we squeeze complex issues into our 50-minute free classroom periods, like Cinderella’s sisters with her glass shoe. Instead, meetings should be structured to fit their purpose; form should follow function."

6) Seven Sins of Deadly Meetings (Fast Company, 1996) This article from the business sector suggest ways to avoid the seven sins of meetings, including how to stay on track and how to get employees to speak with candor. 

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