I wanted to name my business to reflect my passion for helping organizations take the next step, whether it is to plan for the future, foster effective collaborations, develop policy, find consensus, address a difficult situation, get stakeholder’s perspectives, or to have a shared understanding of an organization’s history, data, or related trends. I use that intentionality to design and facilitate meetings to specifically meet these goals.
Intentions are powerful. Intention is the conscious care and focus on something. Intention is a seed, and with concentration and attention can bring forth what you hope for.
I’m trained in many meeting design methods. The Technology of Participation Facilitation Methods™ (shorthand: ToP) counsels to ask about the “aims” of the meeting with a client when planning for the meeting. What is the goal? What do you want to accomplish, learn, know, discover, explore or decide as a result? What will be different?
Perhaps, you want to review data and make recommendations to the board, or maybe discuss an important event that affects your organization’s future, or address challenges and discover what works. These aims need to be stated, planned for, and shared with the participants.
In design meetings with clients I ask about their aim for the participant experience of the meeting. Answers may include that the participants experience a trusting atmosphere, feel excited, engaged, intrigued, or productive.
When designing a meeting, I check back in with these aims or intentions regularly, to see if the processes I’m considering using, or questions I intent to ask, will get us there.
Too often when meetings are held the aims are not clear to the participants. A waste of everyone’s time, expensive company time. When I was an employee at a non-profit, we used to gather for a weekly managers and directors meeting. This was the routine: people dribbled in, we got started at least 15 minutes late, (why come on time as it won’t start on time). No one knew what we were there to discuss. As a result, people felt like it was a waste of time, which was not the experiential aim anyone was going for! Does that sound familiar?
The first consideration in planning a good meeting is intention. If there are no aims for the meeting, don’t hold it. Time would be better spent getting work done. If there are reasons to hold the meeting, a carefully designed meeting will get you there.
Welcome to my blog and my website! Meeting Intentions is here to help you achieve your meeting aims and goals, in a participatory, respectful and engaging way. My intention for the blog is to share strategies for productive meetings. I hope you find this helpful!