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November 2018
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TD Magazine

5 Steps to Improving Meeting Engagement

Move beyond tricks and simplistic techniques. Use these five methods to get sustainable engagement in your day-to-day meetings.

1

Define what you want people to contribute. Be clear about what you want to help each person actively do or say. Engagement means more than simply paying attention.

2

Ask for engagement. Do you want written feedback? Verbal input in a go-around? A show of hands? Get specific and provide examples.

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3

Make space for people to engage. Make sure you have enough meeting time for engagement. For example, to get feedback from 10 people with each speaking for just two minutes takes 20 minutes. Engaging meetings require either smaller groups or more skilled facilitation.

4

Acknowledge contributions. Thank those who speak up. They've taken a personal risk in this group and won't do so again if it isn't appreciated.

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5

Use what you receive. Make sure contributions made during the meeting affect what happens after the meeting. Clever facilitation tricks won't engage people if they realize their suggestions don't matter. When people see they made a difference, however, they'll contribute again.

Adapted from Where the Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization by J. Elise Keith.

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About the Author

J. Elise Keith is author of From Where the Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization.

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