Organizational Development Consultant

Four Techniques to Evaluate Meeting Effectiveness: #4 Written Questions

March 29, 2015

“In addition to meeting together, sometimes our group meets by phone or across locations and even via E-mail. Is there a meeting evaluation technique that I can use both inside and outside a face-to-face meeting?”

#4 Written Questions

What are Written Questions?

the Written Questions technique gathers written feedback on your meeting’s effectiveness from each individual in the meeting. The technique requires each participant to complete a meeting evaluation questionnaire that has been prepared in advance.

Written Questions, like the other meeting evaluation techniques described in this blog, does more than simply analyze and measure the effectiveness of your meetings. Like a good antivirus program for your computer, these techniques expose problem areas in your meetings, as well as provide the insights to correct those problems and weaknesses. Their importance to meeting success and their recommended consistent use, thereby, cannot be overemphasized.

When to Use Written Questions

  • When you don’t have time to evaluate the meeting as a group
  • When you have participants in different locations
  • When you want to use an alternative to verbal feedback in your meeting

How to Use Written Questions

Before the Meeting:

  1. Reserve as few minutes near the end of your meeting agenda for the Written Questions evaluation technique.
  2. Prepare the Written Questions that you would like to use in your meeting. Two example questionnaires are illustrated below.

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Using one of these two templates, create a questionnaire that meets the specific needs of your meeting group.

NOTE: When creating your questionnaire, be sure to ask open ended questions.

During the Meeting:

  1. Near the conclusion of your meeting, introduce the Written Questions technique and review the instructions and contents of your questionnaire.

NOTE: It is best to schedule the meeting evaluation as the second to the last agenda item. End the meeting with another short agenda item, such as `plan the next meeting.’ If you ask people to complete a meeting evaluation questionnaire as you are about to dismiss the meeting, only a few people will stay to do so or take the time required to make it a meaningful exercise. A short agenda item afterwards will insure that everyone will take the time to complete the questionnaire.

  1. Ask your participants to complete the questionnaire and return it to you as they leave the meeting.

Variation 1: Use the format shown in Figure 9-8 as a chart instead of an individual questionnaire. Place this chart near the door at the end of your meeting, so your participants can rate each question as they leave the meeting. Be sure to provide sticky notes so they can write and post their comments as well.

Variation 2: When your group is meeting electronically and won’t be meeting face-to-face, send your chosen questionnaire to each participant before the meeting begins. Ask them to complete and return the material electronically immediately after the meeting.

After the Meeting:

Collect, compile and communicate the data received from your Written Questions.

NOTE: In addition to providing the information generated from the questionnaire, be sure to communicate your intended actions as a result of the feedback.

In Summary:

Written Questions is a technique for gathering meeting evaluation information individually and silently.

Before the Meeting:

  1. Reserve a few minutes near the end of your meeting agenda for the Written Questions technique.
  2. Prepare the Written Questions questionnaire you would like to use in your meeting.

During the Meeting:

  1. Introduce the Written Questions technique and review the instructions for the exercise.
  2. Ask the participants to complete the questionnaire.

After the Meeting:

Collect, compile and communicate the data generated from the questionnaire, as well as an outline of any resulting actions.

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NOTE:

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You will find my book Mission Critical Meetings: 81 Practical Facilitation Techniques on Amazon. Your feedback and reviews are most welcome.

http://www.amazon.com/Mission-Critical-Meetings-Facilitation-Techniques/dp/1627870377/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408719109&sr=1-2&keywords=Mission+Critical+Meetings

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