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Guardian of Change (Meeting Communications Plan)

Purpose of Meeting Communications

The Guardian of Change provides a method for managing meeting communications.  For meeting results,  it delivers your meeting communications plan.

meeting communications

Meeting Communications Plan

Empirical research shows that it is best to guard and protect communications than to simply shout out.  Different audiences need different parts of the message and may react differently to descriptive terms used and the media used to communicate results.

The overall purpose is to get a group to agree on how it will communicate the results of its meeting and workshop efforts to others.  Students with study groups average a GPA that is 0.50 points higher than students without groups.  Why?  Socialization.

Rationale for Meeting Communications

At minimum, team members need an “elevator speech” that can deliver an effective synopsis of the meeting results.  At the other extreme, if the meeting is strategic, there could be numerous audience types such as the investment community, suppliers, trade personnel, etc.  If so, identify the key audience members before discussing the message, medium of communication, and frequency of communication for each.

When it is important that it sounds like the participants attended the same meeting together, consider agreeing on the rhetoric used to describe the meeting.  Typically, the two major audiences are:

  1. What do we tell our bosses or superiors?
  2. What do we tell people dependent on our results (ie, stakeholders)?

Method for Meeting Communications

After identifying the target audiences, ask for each, “What are we going to tell _____?”  List the messages as bullet points that begin to homogenize (ie, create consistency) the meeting participants’ descriptions in the hallway about what was accomplished.

If necessary, discuss HOW TO communicate with the target audience such as face-to-face, email, etc.  For complicated communications plans, further discuss frequency or how often to set-up regular communications.  It may be necessary to schedule the communications so that the superiors are informed before other stakeholders.  Failing to plan suggests planning to fail. Meeting participants will use separate methods and discrete rhetoric that may generate different understanding among stakeholders who are expected to share similar understanding.

Proactively consider a 330 Report, a written summary of results that should take no longer than 30 minutes to write and no longer than three minutes to read and reply.  The 330 Report may be ideal for executives and other team members who are interested but not fully invested.

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Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)

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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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