Avionics News November 2015 - 60
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meetings make time to address progress on jobs, as well as help you adjust
work assignments to meet milestones
and inject coaching and course-corrections before projects get out of hand.
Ad hoc strategy meetings permit
big-picture discussions and decisionmaking, such as planning for an
upcoming job, or even managing
individual performance issues, while
quarterly or annual planning meetings ensure you set solid goals for
the future by allowing management,
supervisors and team members to discuss such things as team performance
and morale, financial objectives or
2. Set an agenda. Once you know
what kind of meeting you're scheduling, put thought into your meeting's
desired outcome and create an agenda,
according to Deborah R. Bernstein
of executive coaching firm WJM
Associates. This preplanning enables
shorter meetings through clear objectives. For example, determine whether
you're providing new information on
scheduling, or asking for a free-form
post-mortem discussion on a job,
or looking for your team to generate ideas for service improvements.
Circulate the agenda beforehand, along
with any other information attendees
might need to review.
While you're at it, set rules. For
instance, in discussions, every participant's opinion should be respected,
each is expected to participate openly,
and all questions are open for the ask-
ing. Likewise, prohibit interruptions,
outline procedures and penalties for
tardy participants, and consider limiting technology, including laptops,
phones and tablets, so everyone stays
3. Consider invitations. Given
your agenda, evaluate who truly needs
to attend. Invite only those people
directly affected by specific information who can contribute to decisions,
or who are necessary for discussions.
The size of the group will vary based
on your purpose, but keep it to the
absolute minimum. Too many people,
and some of them will see the meeting
as a waste of time. That said, everyone invited should come prepared;
they need to be able to add ideas, propose solutions, and offer analyses that
drive decisions and discussions.
4. Start on time. Respect attendees' time, and eliminate late starts. In
fact, consider having a tardy jar that
stragglers have to deposit into, or find
some other way to motivate everyone
to arrive on time or early.
Begin the meeting with a "Take 5."
Since a meeting is a team-building
exercise, allow participants - especially those who don't regularly work
together - to establish rapport by having them chitchat and share personal
information. Next, review homework
assigned in previous meetings to
refresh memories of what happened
already and hold people accountable
for assigned actions.
Then start strong, according to
Lencioni. Add some passion and conflict to the gathering by framing the
discussion with what's at stake, such
as losing customers to other shops.
That tension helps attendees care
about the outcome and stay engaged.
5. Moderate the meeting. Actively
manage the process to move the discussion along on schedule, draw input
from tentative attendees and quiet
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