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Effective meetings: The People

As coalition leaders, we can become concerned that we are leaving people out and have a tendency to want to invite everyone to every meeting. While this may be important if the primary purpose of your meeting is networking and coordination, this can be really challenging if the purpose is more narrowly defined. How do you decide who needs to be part of the meeting? Join me this week as I provide three ways to determine the right people who need to participate in your next meeting.

  1. Clarify your meeting purpose. The meeting purpose is the best way to assess which people who need to participate in your meeting. If you missed last week’s post focused on purpose, check it out here. Depending upon your workgroup or team, you may have a larger group and then sub-groups focused on specific priorities. Last week, I co-hosted a meeting that resulted in narrowing our focus to  three priorities. Two of the three priorities are very specific and will only need the involvement of people who have an interest and expertise in this area. When we host meetings related to these specific priorities, we can involve the narrow group of people.
  2. Assess your members interests. Sometimes it is obvious who may be interested in a particular area (based on what they say during the meetings), but it may not always be clear. Once you determine your purpose and priorities, assess your members to find out which of them are interested and bring expertise to these priority areas. This can be as simple as an email asking for participants to respond with which priorities they would like to implement or you can conduct a brief electronic survey. If you know some of your members may have a particular interest or expertise and they haven’t responded, then try calling them to see if you can connect them with one of your priority areas.
  3. Identify gaps and needs in your membership. After you have assessed your current members and connected them with your purpose and priorities, you may realize that you do not have expertise that is needed to adequately address one of your priority areas. You may need to ask for recommendations from other members or you may need to consider the type of organization who may have that expertise and contact them directly to discuss your needs and potential collaborations.  This can be an ongoing process as you work on your purpose and priorities and uncover unanticipated needs and gaps.

So what about you, what do you do in order to determine the people who need to participate in your meetings? Do you use these methods? Or something else?

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Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

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