Boreas Meetings that Matter Workshop

I hate meetings. Just a simple fact. And unfortunately librarians and universities love them (and sadly they tend to host the worst meetings). Most meetings, in my humble opinion, are a waste of time and kill precious minutes that I will never get back and as we all know, time is just too short and precious to waste. So when I saw the listing of workshops that the Boreas Leadership Program was holding, I debated about going to a meeting about meetings. Luckily I was wrong, as this was a really interesting meeting about meetings and I learned a few things, which is always a plus!
Here was the workshop info:

 

Boreas Meetings that Matter Workshop (Being Thoughtful about Meetings)
Host: Kate Knuth

Thursday, March 12 – 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Learning and Environmental Sciences Room R380
1954 Buford Ave, Saint Paul Campus

Coffee and tea will be available.

“You’ve almost certainly sat through a bad meeting. But have you ever been part of a meeting that feels transformational? Or at least productive? Done right, meetings facilitate great work. And you can learn to better facilitate meetings that matter. In this workshop, you will learn and practice a strategy to become a master of meetings. Try out some meeting games (yes, games at meetings!). Get ready to harness the contributions of colleagues and collaborators. Earn gratitude for not wasting time with bad meetings.”

 

So a few things that I learned today…

How to have more valuable and meaningful workshops:
-ice breakers – fun/jokes/stories
-food (I always like food at meetings, so I suggested this one) – snacks, but be careful when you have food due to people not paying attention and the noise
-learning (use the whiteboards to draw pictures/words)/share experiences/pay attention
-hands on activities/group activities/take risks/try new things
-share resources
-build in chat time/start meetings a few minutes late to let people chat
-listen
-name tags
-focus- be aware of tangents/goals/maintain focus
-presentations – PowerPoint
-environment – the physical space
-breaks – bathroom/beverages/let people move around

Tools:
Post-it notes (big and small)
A good agenda – make sure the meeting has purpose
The 7 P’s (from ‘Gamestorming’ book)
-purpose
-product
-people
-process
-prep
-practical concerns
-pitfalls
Facilitation
-keep meeting on track
-bring in different voices
-manage personalities and conflicts
Model Respect
Do introductions
Tell people where the bathrooms/vending machines are
Assign seats at meetings

Two types of meetings
-internal
-public

Also can have walking and standing meetings