Common Meeting Problems

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When key faculty and/or staff don't attend meetings, decisions may be made that are later questioned and not implemented as hoped. Without some regular interaction, office and department members become isolated, making collaboration and cooperation more difficult. As a leader, you can help ensure that key players attend meetings and provide input when needed.

How to get key people to attend

Some strategies you can employ to enourage key persons to attend meetings include these:

  • Diagnose the problem by understanding why people aren't attending. Ask a few of the non-attenders in an exploratory way, rather than threatening way, why they don't come. You might say, "We've been missing your ideas at the meeting. Is it a bad time for you or are the meetings themselves the problem?". You also might say, "I'd like to have more members attend the personnel committee meetings. Do you have any thoughts on what I could do as chair to boost attendance?"
  • Make your meetings worth attending so that real work gets done. If meetings are used primarily for announcements and information sharing, there may be better ways to share the information (e.g. E-mail, web, bulletin board).
  • If the culture of the department or office has been that meetings are optional, it will require a statement from you, the leader, that you expect that meetings will be real work sessions and will be most productive if everyone attends.
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