How do you handle the many meetings you have? Do you let them happen or do you shape them intentionally? Each time again? 

Even when you don’t shape them. They will be shaped anyway. By habitual patterns. Routines set in place by a team or group will determine how they work together and communicate.

Meetings have a shape.

You can shape your meetings.

I shape mine.

I plan, prepare, and design them. By thinking through the meeting process, I give each of them a form, a structure, and a rhythm. I love doing this. Because the conversation will be more interesting, purposeful, and meaningful. 

Many of us attend too many mindless meetings, where the intention of the meeting isn’t clear and the meeting lacks focus.

Kate Dagher

You don’t need to be a facilitation crack to pay attention to the process. How it unfolds. How if flows or gets stuck. What patterns are in place.

The awareness that every meeting is a mini-process and that it can be shaped will lead to more purposeful and enjoyable meetings. 

It is helpful to take some time with your team or group members to collect and share observations about the meeting process in order to determine what needs to be changed.   

  • How is the meeting time structured? 
  • How is the interaction distributed? 
  • How well is the team/ group working together?
  • What is the atmosphere? 
  • How happy are you with the process as well as with the results?
  • What patterns can you recognize? 
  • What routines no longer serve the team/ group well and can be stopped?
  • What needs to happen so you meet with delight, joy and energy?

Start with asking these sorts of questions. It will be easier to shape your meeting differently.

Shape your meetings

Structuring a meeting conversation does not need to be sophisticated. 

  • Be intentional.
  • Start small and build it up.  
  • Use the repertoire of Liberating Structures and combine some interaction microstructures to shape your meeting process. 
  • Pay attention to how the process unfolds. Share your observations. 
  • Do it together. Meeting is a team sport. 

What else are you doing to make your meetings more delightful?

I look forward to seeing you as a reader in my next blog entry.
Enjoy your learning moment,

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