Collector - May 2017 - 47
"Sending out a draft agenda gets everyone's mind in
gear for the upcoming meeting, so that the moment
that they walk into the meeting they are already
effects. For example, the presenter column
fosters involvement because people see
their name called out-and it causes
those team members who are inclined to
hide to realize that their teammates are
getting the attention of their manager.
The time column telegraphs what the
manager's expectations are about the
topic's complexity; it also makes clear that
if additional topics come to mind on the
spot, the agenda has to be triaged because
of time constraints.
Send an email to team members two to
three days before the meeting, asking
them to send you agenda items they
would like to discuss. This primes the
pump: everyone understands that team
meetings are indeed their meetings as well
as the manager's meeting.
USE A DETAILED AGENDA FORMAT
Agendas should always include columns
with the issue or topic, the presenter and
the amount of time granted to each topic.
Using this format has a number of positive
Prepare a draft agenda, send it to team
members one to two days before the
meeting and ask for their topic suggestions.
This creates an opportunity for everyone
to help shape the meeting and get some skin
in the game. Sending out a draft agenda
also gets everyone's mind in gear for the
upcoming meeting, so that the moment
that they walk into the meeting they are
already engaged. In addition, a manager can
sometimes forget an important issue that
needs to be discussed by the team. When
this happens, you can be sure that someone
will inform the manager of the oversight,
which gives the manager an opportunity to
publicly thank the person for the "catch"-
which is a way to communicate that the
desired team culture is one of transparency,
inclusion and appreciation.
Roll in the topics that team members have
sent you and send out the final agenda 12-24
hours before the scheduled meeting time.
This gives team members time to absorb the
agenda and think about issues that will be
discussed and may require their input. The
prepared-in-advance agenda also primes the
team mentally, so they are ready to engage
the minute the meeting begins.
PRINT IT OUT
Pass out a hard copy of the agenda. Using
a printed copy ensures that people do not
need to stare at a laptop or smartphone
screen during the meeting (thus removing
the temptation of reading incoming emails
or looking at various websites). Give
everyone a minute to read the agenda before
officially beginning the meeting.
REPRIORITIZE IF NEEDED
Ask if there are any additions to the
agenda. If there are additional topics,
those late-arriving items will need to be
triaged with the existing agenda if there
is insufficient time for all the items. (This
quickly becomes a lesson in: "Send your
topic to your manager early if you want it
TURN LAPTOPS, TABLETS AND
This prevents minds from wandering
and beeps from sounding. With devices
off, everyone will be fully present and
fully engaged. If a person is presenting a
topic and needs to refer to a document or
spreadsheet, it would be best to project the
document-or prepare hard-copy handouts.