In the collaborative credit union industry, meetings are at the heart of how people work and learn – whether virtual or in person. This past year, credit unions have had so many meetings! Decision-making, transfer of knowledge, onboarding and celebrations have all filled the hours of our calendars. We have had these meetings with the inclusion of pets, family members, technology issues—you name it, we have really experienced it all in meetings this past year.
And the results? People have done such amazing, important work serving their members and staff safely— all by the work and learning we have done in meetings. If anything, we may be a little tired of all the meetings. But the important work continues, and here are a few tips to keep those key meeting takeaways worth the significant investment of time that everyone dedicates to them:
- Prepare – As we hustle to keep things moving, it is a step that we know we need to take, but all too often we run out of time to make sure that a meeting is more than a just a conversation. Take the time to map your objectives prior to discussion and make sure that everyone has the background that they need to contribute and provide their best ideas. Check your tech by practicing presentations to identify potential challenges ahead of time.
- Set the stage – Regardless of what kind of meeting it is—training, large team meeting or an ideation workshop, when you lead a meeting, you are on point to create an inclusive environment that fosters collaboration within the meeting as well as after. Be aware of the group dynamics as the meeting unfolds and be prepared to listen as well as deliver messaging.
- Align – Credit union cultures are truly unique and have been cultivated over time. Baking your culture, business expectations and your values into your meetings helps people better understand your culture and the direction of your organization.
- Encourage participation – As you aim to get your staff invested in the material and involved in ongoing conversations, asking questions and getting feedback before, during and after facilitation will keep people engaged and provide you the information that you need to move your training or discussions to the next step. If you rush through this part, you may miss some of the most valuable aspects of the meeting.
- Evaluate – Just as with preparation, taking the time to assess your meeting or learning event is critical. If just a short meeting, taking a few minutes to review any difficulties and changes to improve can help the next meeting. If a longer workshop, ask participants to provide their input at the end to continue to iterate.
Meetings, whether for learning or business-based collaboration, are such an important way for us to continue to come together to support the needs of members. Make the most of this precious resource at your credit union!
For additional insights on how to lead engaging and high-impact meetings, consider the new event CUNA Facilitator Certification Virtual School in June.