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When you need to involve the group in solving a problem, making a decision, or sharing concerns, call a meeting. When you need to update the group on a minor matter, send an email.
Those who have a need to know and those who have relevant information to share should be present at the meeting. Those affected by the decision may also need to be included. Limit the number of attendees to 12 if possible, or the discussion can become unwieldy.
What do you want to accomplish with the meeting? Make sure the agenda is clear and in writing. If you have multiple agenda items, prioritize them and only allow the number of items that can be covered in the allotted time.
How many times have you been in a meeting where the room was too hot and everyone fell asleep, or the overhead fan was so loud you couldn't hear the speaker? Temperature, lighting, and seating comfort all matter, so make sure they're right before you meet. Also, everyone likes snacks.
Don't allow an informational meeting to turn into a brainstorming session, and don't lecture a group when what you really want is their participation and input. Be prepared to redirect the conversation as needed, including tactfully dealing with participants who talk too much or contribute too little.
As you address each item on your agenda, determine who is responsible for implementing the decision and set an appropriate deadline for completion. This information should also be highlighted in the meeting’s minutes.
This is respectful to those who have made the effort to attend and demonstrates that you understand their time is valuable. It is particularly important when the meeting involves other physicians, who likely have patient appointments next on their schedule.
Read the full FPM articles: The Makings of a Good Meeting and How to Make Your Meetings More Productive.
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