Overview

  • Time Frame: 2.5 or 3 hours. Longer time for more participants.
  • Suggested number of participants: 6-18
  • Materials needed: Blank thank you notecards [do I include worksheets here?]
  • Room Setup: tables of 4-6
Download the Curriculum

You’ve almost certainly sat through a bad meeting. But have you ever been part of a meeting that feels transformational? Done right, meetings facilitate great work. In this workshop, you will learn and practice new strategies to become a master of meetings. Try out some meeting games, and get ready to harness the contributions of colleagues and collaborators while earning gratitude for not wasting time with bad meetings.

  • What is the value of a community and network for leadership?
  • Who is in your network? How are you connected to them? Why do you value these relationships?
  • What skills/competencies/perspectives are you interested in developing, and who can help you do so?
  • How do you keep connected and be of help to people in your community and network?
Facilitator Outcomes Participants will be able to:
  1. Introduce the perspective that a vibrant network and community is essential for developing as a leader, having impact, and making progress in one’s career. Clarify the idea that being generous in these relationships is important for transformational work.
Describe why relationships matter for leadership, careers, and impact and express understanding that generosity in relationships is helpful in this work.
  1. Describe the process of drawing one’s network and give participants the opportunity to practice.
Visualize their own key relationships and networks and recognize important connections, missing links, and useful patterns.
  1. Provide an overview of thinking through mentoring relationships starting from the perspective of skills/capacity development and have students work through a structure process from this perspective. Facilitate conversation about this process.
Articulate skills/capacities they would like to develop and identify potential people who could be mentors for developing these skills/capacities.
  1. Facilitate conversation about strategies for following up on connections and maintaining relationships. Have students write a thank you note.
Discuss ways to keep vibrant network connections and use the tool of writing a thank you note.
  1. Build a community in the room and demonstrate the idea that everyone has something to give through sharing activity.
Recognize that they have many things to offer others in their networks and community and practice doing so.
  1. Debrief workshop and ask students to commit to an action to work on their community/network/mentoring relationships.
Propose an action step or two to improve network relationships.
 

Workshop Materials

 

    Sample Agenda

    1:30 – 2:00 Introductions & Icebreakers

    2:00 – 2:30 Connecting the Dots of Your Cultural Background

    • Values Exercise
    • Salsa, Soul & Spirit Exercise
    2:30– 2:40 Break
    2:40-3:00 Presentation
    3:00-3:50 Case Study: Why Diversity Can Lead to Better Ideas
    4:10-4:30 Reflection & Integration

    Ask students to share what actions steps they will be taking.

    Pre-Workshop Email
    We recommend sending out the pre-workshop email one-week before and a short follow-up two days before the workshop. This workshop does not require any pre-work before the workshop, but you could include a link to a TED Talk to help prime students for the workshop experience.

    Here’s an example:

    Dear Workshop Participants:

    Thank you for signing up for the Meetings that Matter workshop! The workshop will take place in the Learning and Environmental Sciences Building on the St. Paul campus from 1-4 p.m. in room R-380. Please respond by Friday whether or not you will be attending the workshop using the Google Calendar RSVP feature. This workshop is sold-out and those who have not confirmed their attendance via Google calendar will be removed to make room for folks on the waitlist.

    Workshop Description:
    You’ve almost certainly sat through a bad meeting. But have you ever been part of a meeting that feels transformational? Done right, meetings facilitate great work. In this workshop, you will learn and practice new strategies to become a master of meetings. Try out some meeting games, and get ready to harness the contributions of colleagues and collaborators while earning gratitude for not wasting time with bad meetings.

    There is no pre-work required for this workshop. You will need a pen.

    I look forward to meeting with you next week,
    Kristi

    Post-workshop handout

    Post-workshop email

    We recommend sending out the post-workshop email within a day or two of the completion of the workshop, to remind participants of any actions they planned to take on going forward, and to get feedback while experience is still fresh.

    Here’s an example:

    Dear Workshop Participants:

    Thank you for attending up for the Meetings That Matter workshop. We hope that bad meetings are in your past you’re on the way to productive, worthwhile ones. 
    We’re always looking to make these workshops more useful and effective, so please take moment to complete the attached survey and let us know what was helpful about the workshop and what else you would hope to gain from a future workshop.
    Thank you
    [Your name]
    Survey Example
    Click here for Google form.
    Ideally, the post-workshop email will include a link to post survey utilizing Survey Monkey, Google Forms, or a similar easy-to-use application. Here are some examples of questions:
    Did you gain the skills you hope to gain from this workshop?

    If not, what did you hope to learn that you would like to see in a future workshop?

    What were the most valuable take-aways?

    What are you going to do to improve the quality of your meetings going forward?

    Please use this space to offer any other feedback you feel would be useful for the facilitators and for future workshops.

    References

    Leach, D. J., Rogelberg, S. G., Warr, P. B., & Burnfield, J. L. (2009). Perceived meeting effectiveness: The role of design characteristics. Journal of Business and Psychology24(1), 65-76.

    Nixon, C. T., & Littlepage, G. E. (1992). Impact of meeting procedures on meeting effectiveness. Journal of Business and Psychology6(3), 361-369

    Kauffeld, S., & Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (2012). Meetings matter: Effects of team meetings on team and organizational success. Small Group Research43(2), 130-158.

    Grisé, M. L., & Gallupe, R. B. (1999). Information overload: Addressing the productivity paradox in face-to-face electronic meetings. Journal of Management Information Systems16(3), 157-185.

    Videos

    Priya Parker on The Art of Gathering
    Author and professional facilitator Priya Parker talks about her book and the art of bringing people together purposeful experiences.

    Thank you and goodbye, medieval business meetings

    When we apply these elementary principles to the business environment, we can create meetings that not only feel more natural but also encourage collaboration and knowledge exchange.

    Websites

    How to have meetings that don’t suck
    At Slack’s Frontiers conference, Ken Norton, a product partner at GV (the venture capital arm of Alphabet, Inc.), shared concrete ideas on how to improve company culture around meetings.

    Running Effective Meetings: A Guide For Humans
    The real key to effective meetings is organizing and running them with a human touch – not like some corporate management automaton.

    Attending Boreas workshops has allowed me to learn and implement several valuable leadership tools in an increasingly connected world and how to present myself in a professional manner on paper, online, and in person.

    Image

    Melaney Dunne

    Master's Student Conservation Biology