The wheel's been invented: Meeting tips from near and far

by April Greene on June 4, 2014

Many of the best strategies we can employ as Connectors have already been tried by others. "The wheel's been invented" series spreads the word about great existing resources that can help us do our work. 

Great tips for being an effective Connector often come to us directly from the Idealist community. But we know there are tried-and-true, replicable ideas to be found in every industry, field, and discipline, and we want to offer those up for your consideration, too.

Following on the heels of this post last month where a Connector gave us her top five ideas for facilitating a meeting, we unearthed these tips for hosting effective meetings from the academic and nonprofit sectors:
  • From the University of Kansas' Community Tool Box (previously recommended to us by a Connector in San Diego) comes a slew of insightful advice like: "Don't have a meeting for the sake of having a meeting—meet to achieve a clear goal," "if you're leading the meeting, transition between agenda items by summarizing the conclusion of each point aloud before moving on to the next," and "make sure to schedule informal social time after the meeting—this is often when real connections are made and the best ideas are born."
  • From the Western Organization of Resource Councils, see these tips about removing barriers to participation (such as addressing childcare needs), sending multiple reminders before the meeting (if you really want people there, send notice a week before, then the day before or the morning of), and making sure your meeting space isn't too big for your group, because "empty chairs and empty space are demoralizing" (that's one we'd never thought of!).

Connectors, if you try any of these tips, let us know what you think!

We also want to hear your best tips for facilitating excellent meetings, and what other aspects of your connecting work you'd like advice about. Please comment below, or write to us at

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