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Meeting Skills

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Why Meeting Skills Training?

Although meetings can be an extremely valuable strategic and operational tool, one of the most common frustrations reported in the workplace today is the waste of time and energy given to poorly managed meetings. Handled well, and a meeting can be a dynamic and productive interaction between a group of people. However, if they are mismanaged, or if the participants do not have the space or the skills to interact collaboratively, then the negative repercussions can be enormous and on-going. 

Individuals wishing to improve their meeting skills are often interested in finding ways to:

      • Make positive personal contributions, so that their opinions and ideas are taken into account
      • Keep the meeting focused and on track without stifling conversation or creativity
      • Keep the meeting to time - avoiding unplanned overrunning
      • Involve everyone, so the same people don't dominate the discussions
      • Make group decisions that everyone is clear about, and happy with
      • Deal with disagreements and conflicts effectively
It is easy to underestimate the skill involved in chairing or participating positively in a meeting. And yet, very little attention is given to preparing people for the requirements of an effective meeting process. The more self-aware people become, the better they will be able to make constructive contributions to the process as well as the content of the meetings they attend.
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"Our meetings are held to discuss many problems which would never arise if we held fewer meetings"

Ashleigh Brilliant

 

Click the 'play' button below to see Carolyn Stevens, Australian Executive Coach, run through some useful ideas on how to turn the corner so that the meetings you either chair or attend are no longer dreaded:



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How to spot a worthwhile meeting

Good reasons to hold a meeting include:

1. To support ideas – ideas can be generated, enhanced, developed and refined when people work well together

2. To build a team – the collaborative experience of meeting others can help to create a group cohesion and rapport, particularly if specific team building activities are included

3. To plan a project - particularly where the project plan is to be agreed by consensus, and where group 'buy-in' is important to the process and/or outcome of the project

4. To delegate tasks – the allocation of tasks can be made much easier where individuals within the group are given the opportunity volunteer

5. To reach decisions - particularly where consensus is required, or where decisions are made through discussion and analysis of a range of options

Poor reasons to hold a meeting include:

1. Because it is the routine – just because the team has met monthly for the past 20 years is not a good enough reason to continue to do so (unless bound by rules of governance). Meetings need to be a genuinely good use of everyone's time

2.To share information - sharing updates at a meeting can be very time consuming and tedious for participants unless the news is extraordinarily fascinating, or presented in an attention-grabbing way. This objective is usually better achieved by circulating information and inviting questions/clarification (by phone, email etc)

3. To gather opinions – this is better achieved by circulating questionnaires, canvassing opinions by email, or conducting one-to-one surveys, as it can be time consuming and opinions skewed by group pressure in a meeting

4. To discuss options – it can be very frustrating for meeting participants to simply discuss options without being involved in generating them, or making a decision on how to move forward

5. To keep a project or activity on track - the meeting process itself will not keep a project on track. It is good project management and reporting that achieves this objective

Meeting Skills Training

Would you or others in your team benefit from training in meeting skills?

As well as the information and advice availble from the internet and from reading books, there's huge additional benefit to be gained from the interaction, practical exercises and valuable feedback that face-to-face training and coaching gives. In relation to the topic of meeting skills H2 offers:

Communication and Relationship Management Training

Open Courses

Held in Central London in convenient locations on a regular basis - a place costs from just £270 +VAT per person for a 1-day course. We currently offer the following open course specifically on this topic:

We can deliver any of our open course topics at your own premises or at a local venue of your choice, plus we offer a number of other off-the-shelf courses that can be delivered in-house, including:

We charge a flat daily fee from £800 +VAT per day (from £700 +VAT for not-for profit organisations), for any number of attendees up to 12 people, dependent only on the location and the duration of the course. Click on the "In-house Courses" button above for more details.

Our bespoke service involves us designing and delivering a tailored course to meet your more individual requirements. Following a short but effective pre-course consultation, we put together a course programme that reflects your specified priorities, and that includes exercises based on real-life case studies/scenarios. This helps us to ensure that the course stays focussed on the issues that are most important to you and your delegates. Click on the "Bespoke Training" button above for more details.

We offer all of our open course and in-house topics as 1:1 training. The cost is dependent upon the topic, location and duration and we offer discounts for two or more sessions. For example, the fees for our standard 1:1 training in Central London covering an open course topic (such as "Chairing Effective Meetings" or "Negotiation Skills") are £550 +VAT. Click on the "One-to-One Training" button above for more details.

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