Dealing with an urgent issue – you don’t need to wait until your next scheduled meeting

When a forum member has an urgent issue to present and the group’s next meeting is not scheduled for sometime, consider arranging an emergency meeting.

Some guidelines:

  • Since the purpose of the meeting is only to have a single presentation, it will be shorter, somewhere between 30-90 minutes long.
  • It may be held either in person or via conference call.
  • Because the meeting is scheduled on short notice, and in order to work for the presenter, attendance is optional, and missing the meeting does not count as an official absence.
  • You can still follow the standard presentation format in this special meeting (e.g., coaching if time allows, communication starter, presentation, Q&A, experience sharing)

In the four years my forum has been in existence, we have had two emergency meetings of this type.  Both were arranged as conference calls on Saturday morning at 8:00 am because that was the time when we could get the most members.

Bob Halperin

Attending your Forum meeting virtually – the right way to do it

Sometimes when you can’t join your Forum in person, you might actually be available for some or all of the meeting, just not able to get to the meeting venue on time.

If remote participation is the only choice, do it the right way:

–          Establish a video, not only an audio, connection whenever possible (e.g., Skype, WebEx, Google Hangout).  Even if you can’t see everyone else, your Forum mates will value seeing you

–          Ask the moderator to give the speakerphone or computer a “seat” at the table, so you can be easily called on

–          Maintain focus – refrain from any distractions just as if you were physically present (no checking email or working on non-Forum business)

–          Remind the moderator to actively control the flow of the meeting to ensure you can get into the conversation

–          Ensure that you are in a quiet, private location with no interruptions

–          If you can only attend part of the meeting, give priority to the Updates portion, being present to share your own significant issues and hear from other members.

And what’s the wrong way to participate virtually?  It’s the way many of us attend conference calls: in a distracted, multitasking mode with our minds only half on the call.

If you can be fully present, following the guidelines above, your Forum will appreciate the extra effort you made to engage with the group.

 Bob Halperin