Tips for Meeting Participants

By Cindy Vallance @cdvallance

Even if you’re not ‘in the Chair,’ all participants still have responsibilities when it comes to ensuring that all receive the full benefit from effective meetings.

Prior to the Meeting

Submit agenda items if and when asked to do so

Come to the meeting prepared to discuss the agenda at hand

Read and be familiar with any information that is distributed in advance

At the Meeting

Attend all meetings and if for any reason you can’t, send apologies in advance along with your legitimate reason for being absent

Arrive at meetings on time

Stay until the end of the meeting

Actively participate – that is why you are attending in the first place isn’t it?

Understand that within the meeting everyone has an equal right to participate

Exert peer pressure on other group members by fully supporting the Chair in managing inappropriate behaviour

Share ideas in an honest and open manner

If conflict exists, air these items in the meeting in a professional manner, not after the meeting

Retain confidentiality for any meeting items when agreed to

Once actions have been decided, support the group’s decision

Refrain from complaining about other participants or the group itself when outside the meeting

Raise concerns with the Chair directly

After the Meeting

Complete any tasks that you have responsibility for within the timeframe discussed

Share with the Chair any observations that might provide helpful learning for the future

In conclusion, the ‘how’ of the meeting is just as important as the ‘what’ since it is the collective energies, commitment and actions of the group that will help us to accomplish so much more than any of us can individually. Note that further consideration was given to the ‘how’ of creating a thinking environment for meetings in this earlier blog series.

Since this is my final blog for 2012, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been reading these pieces.  While formal comments within the blogs have been minimal, I have appreciated the references that colleagues have made about the blogs along with the retweets when these have been posted to twitter. I hope that you have found these blogs to be of interest. Do check back in the New Year and in the meantime, I wish you the very best for the holiday season and for 2013.

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