Organizational Consultation XXIII: Empowerment (Part Three)
While sympathy and empathy for this distraught manager may be warranted, it is not particularly helpful. What we need is an appreciation of the ways in which meetings can be effectively. We need to acknowledge that much can be done in a tangible manner to improve our meetings. We are not powerless. This is the central message of an appreciative perspective regarding empowerment. More than thirty years ago, an experienced corporate training director I knew suggested that six steps are typically taken by effective group leaders when they empower other members of their group. His appreciative wisdom still holds true:
Prepare carefully for the meeting. Capitalize on the natural, inherent influence of your position as leader.
- Act so as to encourage expression of ideas and protect and preserve the ideas and feelings of each individual member.
- Assure from the outset that there are clearly conceived and announced objectives.
- Check from time to time for understanding.
- Conclude the meeting with a restatement of the major points brought out during the session and state clearly any actions to be taken.
- Thank the group for its participation and urge the members to put their new learning skills to use.
A similar set of suggestions has been proposed as “The Ten Commandments for Successful Meetings”
- Always provide an agenda in advance
- Prepare the meeting place
- Always start on time
- Set a time limit
- State the purpose at the beginning
- Include only the appropriate people
- Call meetings only when necessary
- Use meetings only when involvement of other people is essential
- Practice good group dynamics; and
- Use stand-up meetings whenever necessary