A Meeting Facilitator Should Come From Outside the Organization

Organizations of all sizes have meetings. These gatherings are a way to get different members of the organization on the same page; and they are also a great way to evaluate current strategies or brainstorm new ones. However, unproductive meetings cause the company to hold even more meetings as resources are continually wasted. By some estimates, the average American worker spends 100 hours per month in meetings. Companies can avoid wasting expensive labor by making a commitment to holding more productive meetings. The best way to make this commitment is by bringing in a meeting facilitator.

When a company works with a facilitator, it sends the message that these meetings will be productive. The first thing that a facilitator will do is sit down with organizational leaders to determine why the meeting is necessary. In some cases, this research might show that a meeting is not the best way to address the problem. When the meeting facilitator determines that this type of gathering will benefit the company, the professional will begin planning the gathering.

A well thought-out meeting is a more productive meeting, so every facilitator will prioritize the planning phase. He or she will work with organizational leaders to outline objectives that need to be met during the meeting. These objectives can then be used to structure the rest of the meeting, by deciding: the types of questions that a facilitator asks, or who is asked to take part in the discussion. Once the facilitator has determined who needs to attend the meeting, he or she should make sure that each individual is able to attend. When a key decision maker is busy, many companies opt to hold the meeting without them, but this is a huge mistake. The end result is that employees will waste time in a meeting that will not produce a final decision.

Next, the meeting facilitator will distribute a summary of the information that he or she has learned. This information might include meeting goals and background information that will be used during the meeting to make decisions. By giving each organizational member access to this information, the facilitator ensures that everyone will be on the same page when the meeting starts.

During the meeting, attendees will understand why it is best to outsource the task of facilitation. The meeting facilitator must: lead the group discussion, ensure that each individual has a chance to speak, and direct the group to discuss certain ideas. A facilitator who comes from within the organization is likely to sway the direction that the discussion takes due to his or her own biases. Additionally, some team members will be reluctant to share thoughts or go against the leader’s opinion if they think that they are jeopardizing work relationships. An outside facilitator focuses on the problem at hand, and guides the group to a solution by asking for a consensus and ensuring that everyone is given the chance to speak. This ensures that meetings are more productive, which means that less meetings are necessary in the future.

Boost Personal Productivity by Simplifying Your Work Schedule

Our days grow longer and the work loads grow heavier putting increasing pressure on each of us to increase our personal productivity. There seems to be no end in sight to the seemingly daily challenges we face that test our work productivity. Looking for productivity improvement in any area to help keep up with ever growing work demands requires examining our own use of time. The problem in fact that most of us are facing is more in the way we schedule our work loads than it is in the amount we have to do.

Here are 5 suggestions that can be implemented to help you better manage your use of time when scheduling your work to help increase your work productivity.

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

As simple as this may sound far too many put off the start of their days assuming they can make up the lost time later. If you are looking for some sort of productivity improvement the first place to start is here. Get a jump on the day while your mind and body are the most rested and productive.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Either the first thing in the day or preferably the day before you want to ‘organize and prioritize’ the days work schedule.

In order to make the best use of time you should establish 2 to 3 things you want to get done that day. Avoid the temptation of overloading your schedule since this will serve to disrupt your focus resulting in a lower quality effort and a decrease in your work productivity.

Establish Set Hours

Establishing a time schedule puts you on notice NOT to waste any time during the course of the day. Knowing you only have so much time to accomplish your scheduled duties will help you maintain your focus thereby making better use of time. Normally everybody works more efficiently when under pressure and setting your work hours like this will prove to accomplish that.

Limit Email Time

Unless it is urgent or work related avoid this time guzzling activity or schedule just so much time to review your email. The best time to ‘manage’ your email is during the hours where you may seem to be less productive.

Organize Your Work Space

If your work space looks like a cyclone hit it than it is time to tidy it up. All the clutter and disorganization will only serve to distract you. The key to productivity improvement is focus and a messy work space will challenge your abilities to maintain your concentration.

An environment like this also makes it more difficult to locate anything which leads to more time invested in your search.

With more demands being placed upon our personal productivity due to increasing work responsibilities it is up to all of us to make better use of time. In looking for a productivity improvement anyway we can locate it, the answer may in fact be found in how we schedule our work. The 5 suggestions offered above focuses on making better use of time as opposed to trying to find MORE time to manage our work loads. Taking a closer look at how you schedule your efforts and revamping your approach will likely help boost your work productivity. In the end you have now recaptured both your productive ways along with your sanity!

How to Maintain Your Personal Productivity in the Face of a Crisis

In some organizations, personal productivity is shredded by a succession of crises. Every day there is another one or two. Some are old ones repeated and some are brand new ones that have never been seen before. If you are to maintain your personal productivity how are you going to handle crises that suck up your time, drain your energy, make you defer your important priorities and leave you exhausted the end of the working day?

The crisis may come round any corner, may involve any person at any level within the organization or any supplier or customer. Whatever the source of the crisis, the outcomes are sadly similar. The crisis will divert you from your important priorities for the day even though an important deadline is getting closer, you, on the other hand, are stuck with the task of resolving the crisis. At this stage, the enemy of personal productivity appears. Murphy. When you are confronting a crisis, your boss decides that there are other tasks that are important. Then, in the middle of the crisis something else goes wrong. This winds up the tension and creates an environment where tempers get shorter and blame is allocated, sometimes in a loud voice.

Management by crisis means reacting to a crisis and dealing with it after it has occurred. The best way of handling crises is keep them from occurring. With the 20/20 vision of hindsight, it is normally possible to see how to prevent it happening again in the future or to reduce the impact of the crisis. A lot of people will say, “But that’s impossible, if I knew it was going to happen I could plan for it.” These same people, have a first aid kit, a spare tire in their car, food in the cupboard as well as an emergency number by the phone. Now, they don’t know when they might need them but you do know there’s a pretty good chance that you will need them at some point. As a result of this knowledge they have taken reasonable precautions.

To maintain your personal productivity it is worthwhile using the same process. You cannot predict when a crisis will occur, but you can minimize the impact by some careful planning. You may even be able to prevent it. Get yourself and your team into the habit of asking, “What could possibly go wrong here?” Then, “If we fixed that, what else could go wrong?” By trying to anticipate what is likely to happen, you and your team are in a stronger position to fix or alleviate the problem quickly. This means that personal productivity will not be damaged to the same extent. Furthermore, it will leave a sense of achievement with the people who have fixed the problem.