~ By Dana Brownlee
The Problem: We've all attended meetings where participants were asked to read a document, do some research, or conduct some other "homework" prior to the meeting, but very few people actually did it. Obviously, the intent of assigning the pre-work is to ensure that all attendees are prepared, which should result in a quick, efficient meeting, right? Wrong! Too often some attendees don't complete the assignment as requested, which drags down the entire group. Before you lead your next meeting, consider these tips about assigning pre-work.
Consider these suggestions:
Everyone will need to review the requirements document prior to our review discussion. We can either do it as a group and plan to meet for a full day or everyone can review it offline, and the group will meet for 2-3 hours to discuss changes. Which approach does the group prefer?Most groups will opt for the shorter meeting. This technique tends to work because the group was given the option to review the document during the meeting and they chose not to do that.
Dana Brownlee is President of Professionalism Matters, Inc. a boutique professional development corporate training firm. Her latest publications are "Are You Running a Meeting or Drowning in Chaos?" and "5 Secrets to Virtually Cut Your Meeting Time in Half!" She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org