I read a while ago that if you want to achieve the objectives of a meeting, then you should write the minutes ahead of the meeting and run it accordingly.
I really like this philosophy at it suggests that instead of holding a meeting for meeting’s sake, you actually know what outcomes you want from the meeting. Instead of the meeting ending with just any decisions or actions, or worse, just a decision to have another meeting, by planning out the meeting to the point where it is possible to write the minutes ahead of time, it appears to me more likely that the meeting will actually reach decisions and actions instead of merely being a talk shop.
The argument against pre-written minutes is that this may result in blinkered thinking and missed opportunities.
So my amendment to this philosophy would be that while it is necessary to have a plan on how you want the meeting to run its course, to have clarity on your views and objectives, to have a sense of how you want to be seen and heard in a meeting, it’s equally important to allow room for the possibility of improved thinking and decision making that may change the direction of some outcomes and the way in which you participate.
You might be interested in reading Nancy Klein’s Time to Think (https://books.google.co.za/books…) for ideas on how to improve the quality of thinking in meetings.
If you were to pre-write your minutes for 2017, what would you like these minutes to say?
Who do you want to be in attendance in your version of 2017?
What decisions do you need to make in 2017?
What actions do you need to take in order to achieve your desired outcomes?
What resources and support do you need?
What training, experiences or opportunities do you need to improve your skill set?
Where do you need to have flexibility, and where do you need to stay the course?
How are you fitting in all that is important to you? Fun? Exercise? Reading time? Relaxation? Time with friends and family? Travel? Personal development?
Don’t get to the end of 2017 having had a year that was just "another year".
Let 2017 be the year where you get clear on what you want and take steps in the right direction to get there.
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