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Shorter Briefings and Better Meetings
ProjectConnections  Newsletter
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September 21, 2017 In this edition:
Quick: what's worse than a bad meeting? Not much, right? But the first step to healing is acknowledging the need. (The second step will be rounding everyone up after that last iffy meeting. Be sure to check under the desks and behind the potted plant.)

In this newsletter, we explore ways for you to win friends and influence sponsors by not trapping them in an endless meeting from you-know-where. We've broken them down into three different skill levels -- beginner, intermediate, and advanced -- so you can try the techniques that are right for you.
Cinda
» Featured Article
» Have Better Meetings, Be a Better Person
» Where's ProjectConnections?
» Corporate Subscriptions



Featured Article
Brief Me!
Carl Pritchard

Carl Pritchard The root of the noun "brief" is Latin, breve scriptum -- a short, written note. The emphasis on all of the etymological analyses of the term is on "short."

We are all called upon to brief customers, clients, managers, vendors, and others (even family). Yet it's one of the most daunting challenges we have as managers. Many of us are trained in just about everything except for how to present a powerful, short briefing.

Four tools to get the most out of your next briefing »


Have Better Meetings, Be a Better Person
Okay, maybe we're overpromising just a little. But your teammates and stakeholders will certainly regard you more kindly if your meetings are efficient, effective, and as short as humanly possible. These resources are all about getting it done and getting on with the work, without endless churn and wasted time.


Beginners: If you do nothing else, do this.

Our Purpose Today Is... Sample Team Meeting Agenda – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until October 5, 2017
If you can't answer that question with something measurable, you're not ready to meet. We repeat it endlessly because it's true: Good meetings require good agendas. Fortunately, that's a simple target. Check out this example.

Do We Have To? Team Meetings Descriptions Sample – MEMBER
Get buy-in to the meetings your team really does have to have with a brief explainer like this one. This example from one meeting-phobic organization can show reluctant team members who would rather be somewhere else -- anywhere else -- why each particular meeting is practical and valuable. (And if it isn't, maybe it's time to talk ...)

Do You Have To? Meeting Evaluation Guidelines – MEMBER
Do you have a sneaking suspicion your meetings could be better? You're probably right. But don't take it personally! Practically everyone can benefit from a little real talk about their meeting management style and ways to improve. But most people hesitate to say anything critical. Instead of assuming silence is golden, use this simple evaluation questionnaire and process. Prompt your team to honestly evaluate your meeting effectiveness and suggest goals for improvement.


Intermediate: You're actively working toward better meeting skills. Go you! These tools will help.

Think of the Little Things - Effective Meetings Checklist – PREMIUM
Big successes are made up of lots of little successes, and that's just as true with meetings. Keeping track of all the little things that go into a successful meeting is a little bit easier with this checklist. Before you know it, it will be second nature. Until then, don't be afraid to double-check yourself.

Think of the Big Things - Establishing Meeting Ground Rules – PREMIUM
Believe it or not, your best meeting tool might be ten minutes talking to the group about meeting rules. Everyone wants things to go well (no one likes unproductive meetings) and people support what they help to create. So gather your flock and use these guidelines to establish meeting ground rules with your team.

Think of the Trees! - Meeting Minutes Formats – MEMBER
Don't make the minutes longer than the meeting! Minutes are a meeting-adjacent skill that will be necessary for most of us at some point. We're not a huge fan of minutes; most of the time, personal notes will do, especially if you are capturing action items on a collaborative team board somewhere. But if you're going to do them, keep them sharp, concise, and readable. Here's how.


Advanced: These tools are pro-level meeting tools, for those who are confident and ready to tackle tricky or sensitive meeting environments.

Cool, Calm, and Corrective - Preventing and Solving Meeting Disruptions – PREMIUM
Sometimes people seem like they don't want to cooperate. Most of the time, they just don't realize that they're being disruptive. This guideline contains suggestions and scripts for handling those "impossible" people who unintentionally disrupt, derail, and detract from meetings. (And if it's intentional disruption, there are tools for that too.)

I Have a Few Thoughts ... - Review Meeting Planning Worksheet – MEMBER
Review meetings can be some of the trickiest. That's especially true if the first opportunity people have to review anything is actually in the meeting. Even more so if one of your reviewers is the "think out loud" type. Set yourself up for success by carefully planning what's necessary, so you can be sure your meeting will accomplish what you need.

When You Absolutely, Positively Have to Fix It Overnight - Daily Hot-List Meetings – PREMIUM
In most traditional project environments, daily meetings are a huge no-no. But when you're in the clean-up and release cycle of a project, they may be exactly what you need -- if they're done right. Instill and reinforce a sense of urgency in your team with fast, productive daily meetings that keep everyone in sync without sinking anyone's time.

Where's ProjectConnections?
Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero invite you to join them for "Integrate People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: The Complete Project Manager." This informative, interactive, productive, and fun in-person seminar is sponsored by PMI SeminarsWorld. The focus is on integrated people skills. Get PDUs, and a copy of their book, while advancing your professional career. The next seminar happens in Chicago on October 24-27, 2017, just prior to the PMI Global Congress. Cut-off date for hotel reservations is October 1, but rooms may fill up sooner. If this timing or location doesn't fit into your schedule, join them in Miami on December 4-7. Early registration discounts end on October 30 for the Miami seminar.

Corporate Subscriptions and Licensing
Want your team members to have their own access to templates and how-to resources for their project work? Need to share documents and deliverables beyond your project team? We make it easier with affordable corporate subscriptions and licensing. Detailed information regarding corporate options is available online. Give your whole team, or even the entire organization, cost-effective access to our comprehensive online library of resources. You already know how helpful it's been for you. Now it's time to share with everyone else. Find out more »

Not sure if corporate terms apply to you? Check out our licensing terms at the top of our Terms of Service page, in refreshingly ordinary, everyday English.


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