Thursday, October 19, 2006

You've Just Been to a Great Staff Meeting - What Happened?

What are some of the different purposes of a Staff Meeting?
-To update and inform staff members of activities in the institution
-To profile people who have done good work and let them share their reflections
-To maintain transparency and an open environment for sharing
-To bring staff together for a shared experience once and a while

What is the most common format for a Staff Meeting? Most people would say that the staff meetings they have attended were of the "one-person talking/reporting and many more listening" type. What are some other possibilities for holding staff meetings - what would an un-staff meeting look like?

* Maybe there is an email sent out 10 minutes before the staff meeting which has 5 items (one para each) and the key people listed, then when you walk in the room you see those 5 people and you can go and join a small group to discuss their items. At the end each group gets to share in 1 minute, two or three of the highlights of the conversation (followed by announcements). People could move around so they can participate in several small group discussions.

* Maybe there is a rule at a staff meeting that people can only talk about the future, so that people are informed of things that are happening so that they can better participate, instead of after-the-fact reporting (that can go on the website or staff newsletter).

* Maybe an agenda is sent out in advance with key points for discussion, and at the beginning of the staff meeting there is 3 minutes of complete silence in the room while people focus on what they want to learn specifically at the staff meeting. At the end there is 5 minutes of silence or perhaps a 5 minute pairs conversation while people think about what they learned and what they will do with it when they get back to their desks.

Have you ever been to a great staff meeting? What was it about the meeting that made it useful, interesting, and made you excited to go to the next staff meeting? Any ideas to add?

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