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Sharing Leadership Responsibilities
Shared leadership is a concept that is key to effective and efficient team process. Simply stated, each and every member of the team has and should take responsibility for leading the team process. It needs to be remembered that in the heat of an important issue that means a lot to you, it will be almost impossible to participate in the discussion and monitor the overall process of the meeting and of other members. To counteract this situation, the team process should incorporate shared leadership which will take the form less involved members helping the more involved members stay "on process" (more on that soon).
During any given portion of the Strategy Planning process there will typically be a couple of team members that are less involved with the issue at hand. These less involved members, should during this time take on the responsibility for assisting the more involved members stick to the team process. In this way the responsibility for managing the meeting time rotates amongst the team members which keeps any one person from dominating the meeting and ultimately assists in working through the agenda in a quicker and more efficient manner.
Good meetings, those that have stayed on track, not gone over the
time allotted and have succeeded in accomplishing tangible results
are a joy to participate in. Experiencing this outcome is really a
simple task that hinges on following a few easily define processes.
These include the use of a clearly defined process, proposals,
process checking and critique.
All agenda items should have incorporated into them a proposal that is designed to complete the agenda item, Strategic Initiatives leaving it a neatly wrapped up completed package. The proposal process typically goes as follows:
• The proposal is stated by its presenter.
Process checks are simply what their name would imply. Verbal checks that acknowledge a point in the process that has gone awry. Their purpose is not to ridicule the members who have strayed from the process but to acknowledge the deviation and to bring the process back into alignment. Checks to the process should be made as soon as the need arises. Typical things that will deserve a process check include:
• Going over the allotted time on an agenda item.
Every Strategy Planning meeting should end with a critique by all members. The purpose for this critique is to acknowledge the positives and the negatives that each member experienced during the meeting. Ultimately, acknowledging these experiences creates a open reinforcement of what works and what does not work and should be changed. Again, as in all parts of the process to this point, it is the responsibility of each team member to take this information and put it to good use.
Members who critique the meeting should organize their input around those things that helped the meeting and those that hindered the meeting. Critique should stick to observable issues or a persons own feelings. It is not an opportunity to openly judge or belittle fellow team members. Some examples of typical critique data are:
• It was not helpful that several member were late to the meeting.
Any points of feedback will ultimately help the meeting process in the future. It should also be noted that even if someone else has already made the points that you wanted to make, doing so again is helpful to show that maybe it wasn't an isolated experience.
Following a predetermined, agreed upon process is necessary for having effective and productive meetings in the time allowed. Nothing can and will be more frustrating than spending four hours in a meeting and then leaving it with little or no quantifiable results.
To be Continued
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