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Better Meetings Are Possible!

Better Meetings Are Possible!

In our sector, our goal isn’t to make money, but to make an impact. A significant portion of this impact hinges on an activity we engage in every day: meetings. 

Whether one-on-one or with teams, meetings are critical tools for organizations to learn, grow, and make collective decisions. When we treat meetings as important tools in our toolbox, we approach them differently. 

Despite their potential to drive progress and foster collaboration, however, many meetings fall short. Like us at Third Space Studio, you’ve probably experienced bad meetings that cause confusion, frustration, and loss of morale - and diminish our impact. 

Before you add more meetings to your calendar, consider resetting how you approach meetings. Here’s what we recommend: 

  1. Know exactly why you’re meeting: Effective meetings have clearly defined outcomes. This clarity guides the discussion and keeps everyone focused. Make sure the right people are present and that everyone understands the agenda, their roles, and the desired outcomes. 
  2. 80% of the work happens before you walk in the door: Meeting preparation is the most important and time-intensive stage of leading a meeting. The design focuses on both content–what will be addressed and decided–and process–how the discussion will happen and how decisions will be made. 
  3. It’s all about the questions: The key to designing an effective and engaging meeting is designing effective and engaging questions. The best questions are open ended, answerable by participants, and move the conversation forward towards the meeting’s ultimate goals. 
  4. Manage time wisely: Starting and ending meetings on time shows respect for everyone's schedules. Structure your agenda to cover all important topics without rushing or dragging the meeting.
  5. Ensure follow-up actions: What needs to happen after everyone has left the room (or Zoom)? Make sure that key decisions and conversations are captured, and clearly assign responsibilities for follow-up tasks. 

Are you a nonprofit leader or consultant interested in tactics and frameworks that will enable you to put this list into action? Third Space Studio’s Better Meetings toolkit and course synthesizes learnings from 40 years of combined experience in meeting facilitation. You can also find additional free resources and reading recommendations on this topic. 

Check out Better Meetings here: https://www.thirdspacestudio.com/better-meetings