I've been tasked with organizing a meeting with part of my team before another meeting I'll have with the head of my department. I have to get feedback from everyone on certain questions that were specified to me, and need people to brainstorm together on those questions. I have thus set up a doodle so that I know who can when. Obviously, not everyone can at the same time and now I'm left with a dilemna:

  • Some member of the team have expressed the need for the meeting to be 2hrs long instead of the 1hr I was thinking of. I could set up the meeting for 2hrs and have 3 persons missing out.
  • Or I could set up two meetings at different times where some people could be there to both, some others to only one, but, in the end, everyone would have had the chance to express themselves and no one would have missed both meetings.

I've never had to organize meetings or anything like that I'm not sure of the best way to do this. I feel like the second idea, while being more fair, could be confusing and people would skip a session. But at the same time, I want to give everyone the opportunity to participate.

  • You would know much better than we do how important it is for everyone to attend or for people to be there for the entire duration. There's no one-size-fits-all solution here, it would depend on whose input you need, how modular the meeting is and how important inclusivity is to you. – Bernhard Barker Nov 14 '17 at 10:49
  • Is it the reason for the downvote ? It's fairly important to me that everyone feel like they had a chance to participate so that's why I thought I could find alternative solution to doing two meeting or I could learn that that was a no go – Malcolm Nov 14 '17 at 11:12
  • Ok I'm just trying to understand so I can make the question better :) – Malcolm Nov 14 '17 at 11:39

If the meeting is meant only for you to gather information, you don't need to have all the people in the same room at the same time, as I assume you can listen to one person a time. In this case you can chase their agenda and schedule the 1 to 1 when they are free.

If instead you also want them to collegially discuss on the topic, then you have to try to collect as much input as possible. Send MOM out for those who cannot attend part of or the entire meeting, so that they provide feedback on the decision taken. Be sure to make clear what is the scope of the meeting and why their input is needed.

MOM stands for Minutes Of Meeting. It should contain:

  • list of invited person, with indication of attended/absent with justification/absent without justification
  • summary of discussed items
  • agreed actions, with action owner and deadline
  • follow up actions (if needed)
  • I've edited the question to add the fact that I need everyone to brainstorm and come up with "answers" on those questions – Malcolm Nov 14 '17 at 11:10
  • Can you clarify what MOM is ? :) – Malcolm Nov 14 '17 at 11:44
  • @Malcolm, explanation added – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Nov 14 '17 at 11:56

Two hours is probably too long for a meeting like this, you'll lose people's attention.

Try to put what you can into an hour and encourage people to email any feedback, then collate that feedback, or arrange a second session as required.

  • 2 hours and I get sleepy. – Neo Nov 15 '17 at 22:40

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