You can make your planning and collaboration meetings more effective by following six easy steps relating to use of the room’s whiteboard. That’s the advice of Jenessa Connor, a writer and author who loves finding new ways to increase office productivity and creativity.
In her OfficeNinjas blog, “6 Tips for Rocking a Whiteboard in Your Next Meeting,” Connor offers six “go-to” tips to keep meetings on target and to drive better outcomes.
The six tips are:
Focus on Your Purpose – Chaos will ensue if you’re not clear on the purpose of the meeting, so spell it out. “Start by writing the goal, purpose, or question that needs to be answered on the whiteboard,” Connor says.
Take the Time to Write Clearly – Don’t feel like you’re the secretary of the meeting who needs to write every detail. Limit the whiteboard writing to the bigger picture. Follow-up documents can provide details if needed. By just writing main points, you’ll have time to write clearly “Slow down and write down only key phrases that represent bigger ideas,” she says.
Erase as You Go – Sometimes you’ll write things that end up not being useful. “If something on the whiteboard is no longer useful to the conversation, erase it,” Connor writes. That will keep the focus on what is valuable.
Organize Your Brainstorms – Consider that the discussion might entail different “categories” of topics, and be prepared to lay those out. “Organizing ideas in columns or sections of the whiteboard can provide a helpful visual aid for the group,” says Connor.
Create a “Parking Lot” – Some ideas not germane to the discussion shouldn’t be erased. Those ideas might merit a separate meeting or discussion. A whiteboard “parking lot” can be a place to note reminders of those ideas.
Snap a Picture – Take a photo of the board once the discussion is concluded, to keep a record of the ideas. Read all of Jenessa Connor’s whiteboard meeting ideas at her blog at OfficeNinjas.
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Jim Muth is general manager of EVERWhite, a US manufacturer and seller of whiteboards and tack boards used for teaching, coaching, planning, collaboration and tracking. Along with his expertise in the use of whiteboards, Jim excels in leadership, new product development, business operations, lean manufacturing, continuous improvement and product marketing. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Industrial Technology, with a focus on Product Development and Design, from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.