This is an opportunity for readers of this newsletter to ask me a question about any aspect of student recruitment, leadership, and professional or personal development. Each week I’ll post my answer for everyone to read. You can anonymously ask me your question by clicking here.
Q. A Director of Admission asks:
“New to the director position and I’m interested in your feedback about staff meetings and how to make them effective.”
A. Thank you for your question…it’s an important one! I’ve had this discussion multiple times this summer during 1-on-1 meetings with admissions leaders. Meetings are a mainstay of higher ed culture. The key is to make sure that you as a leader have an effective meeting strategy each and every time.
Here are a few of the recommendations that I’ve offered:
- Go through every meeting you organize (and attend) and question its value. What’s the ROI of your meeting not only for your team members, but you as a leader? Too many offices have meetings just so they can say they’ve had meetings. If you’re going to rehash the same stuff you talked about the previous week you can do that with an email. The purpose of any meeting needs to be clear to everyone involved.
- Create an environment that encourages open back and forth discussion. Good ideas often become great ideas when people feel comfortable enough to openly ask questions in a professional and respectful manner about an idea their colleague or even their boss brings to the table. Creating that open environment isn’t easy, but it becomes much easier when everyone remembers that they’re all on the same team and their goal is to best serve students and families.
- Involve all the right people. If you’re going to spend time to have a serious discussion about an idea, it’s important to involve all the right people. I’ve found that many leaders leave out critical team members or colleagues from other offices that will be tasked to execute said idea if it’s moved forward on. Without the right people in the meeting, time will be wasted.
- Keep everyone focused. That starts will an agenda. Things will inevitably come up during discussions that will need to be tabled until later on or addressed in a future meeting. Keeping everyone focused is critical to any successful meeting.
- Leave with clear next steps. At the end of every meeting there should be clear next steps that detail individual and group responsibilities and timelines. Typically this can be put together in the form of a meeting summary.