You must post replies of at least 200 words to each of the two discussion board threads. For each thread, you must support your assertions with at least 3 scholarly citations in APA format as well as include at least 1 biblical integration. Each reply must cite at least 1 scholarly source or include 1 biblical integration. Scholarly resources must come from peer-reviewed journals.
Discussion Board #1
Key to Facilitation: Set a Clear Agenda
Need for an Agenda
A project event or team meeting needs a clear agenda to stay focused and without one the event or meeting will not have a clear purpose or terminal objective and may stray. Starbird and Cavanagh (2011) provided that one key to facilitation is to “set a clear agenda” (loc: 1273). One attribute of Engaged Team Performance is to keep work and data visible, and that includes the “key objectives, decisions, deliverables, and time” for a meeting (Starbird and Cavanagh, 2011, loc; 1273). An agenda is a tool that the facilitator can use to make the intent of the meeting visible before the meeting and guide then use to guide the meeting. The authors identified four aspects of a meeting, and personal experience highlights the impact of having or not having a clear agenda and sticking to it—emphasis on sticking to it.
Other researchers supported the purpose and the use of an agenda. Kauffeld and Lehmann-Willenbrock as cited in Haar, Koeslag-Kreunen, Euwe, and Segers (2017) identified 10 factors in team meetings, which included factors related to goals, clarification through questions and answers, time management, and summarizing. There were some similarities between the authors like setting meeting goals and having meeting objectives. Haar et al. (2017) also commented on Uitdewilligen’s findings that in meetings “team members share their information, discuss what needs to happen next, and decide on an action plan” (p. 219). The USAF (2015) Tongue and Quill mentioned the use of meeting minutes to capture a historical record of the meeting, which is like the summarizing that Haar et al. (2017) found. Meeting minutes can be useful to share a summary with other that were not in attendance.
Main Parts of an Agenda
An agenda includes four main items: objectives, decisions, deliverables, and time allotted (Starbird & Cavanagh, 2011). First, the objective is the purpose of the meeting, and someone should not hold a meeting if it has no purpose (USAF, 2015). Second, the agenda may list specific decisions that the team needs to make. Third, deliverables may include the review of open action items and assigning new action items. The action items (i.e. action plan) include the action description, accountable person, assignee, and due date (Starbird & Cavanagh, 2011, loc: 1314). Reviewing the action plan keeps everyone on the same page regarding the status of each item. Finally, each item on the agenda should have time allotted. This helps the team and facilitator stay on track and set aside the necessary time. These items help ensure the team’s agenda serves as “a road map for the time allotted, giving the facilitator time markers to test for agreement and to press for conclusion” (Starbird & Cavanagh, 2011, loc; 1273).
Personal experience shows that meetings can be very useful forums to align teams but can also be non-productive or non-value added if the meeting does not serve a purpose. In this section, I will share some of my personal experience with meeting agendas. I attended multiple meetings each week in my current organization. Some are office staff meetings and others are weekly program team meetings that happened via teleconference. Many followed a set agenda that aligns closely with what the authors above recommended. Those meetings started with an overview of the agenda, reviews, action items, discussions of issues, requesting and getting approval from the approving officials, and setting the stage for the next meeting. This is effective, and everyone knows what to expect.
As a manager, I also arranged and set up meetings as needed. These can also be in the office, or via teleconference. For less formal meetings, I have emailed calendar invites with an agenda (purpose, talking points, etc.) to the group. When I did formal meetings or events, especially ones that last over an hour, I provided an agenda with a time breakdown to show which topics the group will cover to include the start and stop times.
Some of our staff meetings have run long. This was due to the open-ended nature without a set agenda and no one keeping an eye on the clock. While there were useful topics, action plan reviews, and so on, it can be counter-productive when meetings run long. As Starbird and Cavanagh (2011) pointed out, an agenda should have time allotted. This lets the attendees know when the meeting is expected to end, and for long meetings or events, gives them a breakdown of the order and times for each meeting topic.
An agenda is a tool to keep on task and make sure the desired work is done. Scripture in Proverbs 18:9 states “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys” (TLV). This speaks to the impact of someone being undisciplined in their work. If being slack leads to destruction, then the lesson also teaches that if one is diligent, then one will build up and be successful.
Haar, S., Koeslag-Kreunen, M., Euwe, E., & Segers, M. (2017). Team leader structuring for team effectiveness and team learning in command-and-control teams. Small Group Research, 48(2), 215-248. doi: 10.1177/1046496417689897
Starbird, D., & Cavanagh, R. (2011). Building engaged team performance: Align your processes and people to achieve game-changing business results[Kindle version]. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 9780071742269
United States Air Force [USAF] (2015). Air Force handbook 33-337: The tongue and quill. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/saf_cio_a6/publication/afh33-337/afh33-337.pdf
Discussion Board #2
Key to Facilitation-Set a Clear Agenda
Facilitate- “to make easier: help bring about” (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 2018)
Agenda- “a list or outline of things to be considered or done; an underlying often ideological plan or program”
One of the most important keys to the successful facilitation of any meeting is the facilitator’s ability to set a clear agenda for the meeting. Having a set agenda not only helps everyone stay productive and on track, but also ensures the meeting can be considered value-added. A well-planned agenda “communicates to attendees that the meeting will be conducted in an orderly fashion and that productivity is the goal…An agenda can help a group of employee’s functions as an effective team.” (Sessoms, 2018) An additional suggestion is to not only prepare an agenda, but provide the topics in advance to attendees so they can come prepared with any reports or documents needed for the meeting.
The concept of setting an agenda for meetings reminds me of a saying by Benjamin Franklin, “When we fail to plan, we plan to fail”. I have personally learned from previous experience when I first became a supervisor what happens when you fail to prepare for a meeting. I struggled to control the conversation and found the group getting off topic. I remember leaving the meeting and thinking about how my desired topics weren’t really covered even though we went over the allotted time. Because I work in a call center, we are only allowed limited time to take agents off the phone so every minute associates are pulled for a meeting really needs to be value-added. What I did not realize at the time was that my failure to properly prepare for the meeting did a dis-service to my associates by wasting their time and not presenting a clear message with outlined expectations. I have since learned the importance of preparing a detailed agenda to help keep people on track and on time, deliver a clear and consistent message, and outline expectations. Agendas, when “Used appropriately, they are a road map for the time allotted, giving the facilitator time markers to test for agreements and press for conclusion.” (Starbird & Cavanagh, 2011)
Throughout the Bible we are taught the importance of being diligent and planning. Some of the more well-known scripture verses about planning ahead include Luke 14:28 which states, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough time to complete it?” and Proverbs 21:5 which states, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty”. (ESV) Through our diligence in planning we are able to deliver a more pointed message to others.
Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. (2018). Definition of Agenda. Retrieved from Merriam-Webster.com: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agenda
Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. (2018, February). Facilitate. Retrieved from Merriam-Webster.com: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/facilitate
Sessoms, G. (2018). Why Do You Need an Agenda for a Meeting? Retrieved from smallbusiness.chron.com: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/need-agenda-meeting-24384.html
Starbird, D., & Cavanagh, R. (2011). Building Engaged Team Perfomrance. Implementation Partners LLC.
Discussion Board Forum Replies Grading Rubric
Replies – Major Points
0 to 13 points
Major points are supported by the following:
· At least 1 scholarly article from a peer-reviewed journal or biblical integration;
· Pertinent examples (conceptual and/or personal); and
· Thoughtful analysis (considering assumptions, analyzing implications, and comparing/contrasting concepts).
Replies – Contribution
0 to 13 points
· A contribution is made to the discussion.
· Each reply expounds on the thread.
Replies – Spelling and Grammar
0 to 7 points
Proper spelling and grammar are used.
Replies – Communication
0 to 7 points
· Required word count (at least 200 words each) for 2 replies is met.
· Communication follows Student Expectations.