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TIP - How To Start Meetings On Time

This is one TIP from our collection of practical tips, tools, and techniques. Our tips are gathered from our experience, training classes, and alumni contributions.

How to Start Meetings on Time

Include "Arrival" On The Agenda

Put an ARRIVAL time on the agenda. For the START of a session at 8:00 AM, include ARRIVAL on the agenda at 7:50 AM.

The time between Arrival and Start is similar to the "networking" or "registration" period before an evening meeting. It is also similar to "Cocktails" before a "Dinner."

Provide An Incentive

Make a handout, guest, or refreshment available prior to START, such as a worksheet tool, senior manager, or beverages. For the greatest effectiveness, have these incentives available ONLY prior to the START.

Alternatively, if you are running sessions spanning several days, provide a limited amount of snacks and refreshments to encourage an early arrival. Make sure that if all workshop participants arrive before the start, there are sufficient refreshments; otherwise, you will start the meeting with dissatisfied participants.

Be An Example

Arriving on-time includes you. Arrive before the scheduled start time, including prior to "Arrival" time. Use the time to greet the workshop participants. It shows that you care and are there to commit as much time as they are.

Make Timeliness Top-of-Mind: Send Reminders

When sending reminders about the meeting, start by reminding the participants when the meeting starts, and that it starts promptly.

Consider including special content for the opening of the session, and only for a few minutes. This encourages participants to arrive on-time. Labeling the content as "special speaker," or "Important News" (if true, or course) helps drive timely attendance.

Counsel Chronic Late Arrivers

Recruit the session sponsor to speak privately with participants that are chronically late. If you are the manager, make timeliness an component of performance.

Have Perspective

The workshop that you are facilitating is NOT the most important event in peoples' lives. It may be important NOW for the organization, but other events and problems can interfere with arriving on-time for THIS meeting.

Chronic lateness by one participant is probably already acknowledged by the person's peers. You are unlikely to correct that. Avoid making yourself an enemy of the chronically tardy. Their tardiness will eventually take care of itself.

TIPS ARE FOR OUR ALUMNI

We publish a compendium of facilitation tips for our students and alumni. We occasionally share our tips with the public.

© 2004-2007 Morgan Madison & Company

 
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