This was a useful day as meetings and involvement in meetings is something I feel I can struggle with and find participation in meetings is not something which comes naturally to me.
As my career progresses I am more likely to have an increased involvement in meeting/teaching and so this day gave helpful pointers in how to make meetings more valuable.
Key learning points:
– Consider place – tidy/clean environment, maybe drinks/food and be well prepared. This will make people feel more valued and more likely to engage
– Attention – the attention you pay to someone in aim to enhance there thinking (demonstrated and practiced in thinking pairs, while listening paying attention to content, response, environment. Not interjecting often, remain more neutral, allowing silences)
– Equality – aiming to allow everyone to have there say/give their ideas. Especially when chairing asking those are not as involved what they think (ok for them to agree with previous points/have no different thoughts)
– Issues to questions – think what’s the issue, what is the outcome wanted and what is the question, that if we could answer it, would get us closest to our outcome. Have an agenda of questions, this will help people have ideas on solutions.
– Send details around the agenda questions out in advance so the details do not need discussing in detail first
– Giving a minute for people to jot down their thoughts on the question before starting the discussion I found was helpful to structure discussions and responses.
– Consider using rounds – everyone getting a chance to discuss, then asking next person what they think. Can go around again after initial thoughts if this has changed any opinions or prompted new points
– Thinking council; presenter presents issue, then questions to clarify questions, then in a round everyone gets a change to respond to the question, no interruptions
– Appreciation – should do this more in general, and in meetings. Sincere, succinct, specific
Following on from this teaching I have had opportunity to put this teaching into practice. I organised and run a mental health MDT meeting with secondary care and IAPT to discuss difficult mental health cases which we were not sure needed referral or how to manage best.
I found this intimidating, but the above knowledge helped me greatly in structuring the meeting and making it run smoothly
In particular, sending out information in advance and ensuring the cases we were discussing had specific questions to answer was very beneficial.
I didn’t formally use rounds in the discussion, but I more actively tried to involve everyone in the discussions and give good attention to all
I also ensured I was familiar with the room being used and that tea and biscuits were available (although the take up for these was surprisingly poor!)
My confidence in running meetings have developed greatly, this is something that I still find less natural and less comfortable with, but the above learning has really helped and I will be using further in future.
Dr Sam Wild
Date of teaching 23rd November 2018