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The Glossary of Meeting Terms describes terminology and acronyms related to meetings and all the activities we do in those meetings. We've gathered this information from far and wide, so enjoy! And hey — if you have corrections or additions, please don't hesitate to contact us!

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SCAMPER is a creative thinking and problem-solving technique that guides groups to evaluate an idea by exploring similar or related ideas. SCAMPER stands for:

Substitute: looking at what can be switched out in the current idea Combine: asking how steps in the process or disparate elements could merge Adapt: how do tweak the idea to get a better result or work in a new context Modify: asking what could be possible with major changes Put to another use: asking what... read more

Screen sharing occurs when one person on a computer device can see what another person is doing on their computer. The screen sharing can give the person watching the other computer the ability to view and control what occurs on the other computer through their own computer.

Secretary is one of the defined roles in a formal meeting. The secretary’s role is to be the guardian of the process of meetings and the maintainer of the official business records. He or she often manages communication before meetings and keeps formal records of the group’s process and decisions: the minutes of the meeting.

Self-portrait introductions are an icebreaker/opener technique used in workshops. This technique works for any workshop where the group will need to collaboratively engage, including workshops where all the participants regularly work together and "know" each other. The goal is to get everyone engaged in a safe, friendly way and establish a supportive environment for the work at hand.

How It Works Everyone draws themselves on a sticky note in no more than 60 seconds. The drawing should... read more

A Sensemaking Meeting is used to find answers to questions and improve shared group understanding of a topic or situation.

You can find an introduction to Team Cadence Meetings in Chapter 29 of our book, Where the Action Is. You may also want to visit the Learn More link, below, for resources to help you plan, run, and troubleshoot the specific meetings your team needs.

Examples Project Discovery Meetings... read more

You may recognize the sentence completion technique from market research studies and standardized academic tests. It works by providing the first part of a sentence, then asking people to complete the sentence in their own words. In a meeting, this technique can also be used as a sense-making or idea generation technique. After reflecting on the beginning phrase, each person would then take a moment to complete the sentence silently. Going around the room, the group would then take turns...

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Silence in a meeting happens when people stop talking or communicating. When used strategically, silence can be a powerful collaboration and communication tool.

A silent brainstorm is a technique for generating ideas while everyone remains quiet. This allows participants to think without distractions or influence from other members of the group, and helps combat problems with groupthink and social loafing common to traditional brainstorming sessions.

Silent Meetings

The simple consensus workshop method includes four steps.

A group brainstorms ideas or responses, which are shared one at a time and posted to a shared space. The group clusters the ideas by related themes or concepts. The group names each of the clusters. The group reflects on what they now see.

This technique works in many situations to help create a shared understanding of a space and build consensus around priorities. It is very similar to the KJ...

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Six Serving Men is a team exercise that examines an issue from twelve different viewpoints. It is based on the words of the poem by Rudyard Kipling:

I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew.
Their names are What and Why and When
and How and Where and Who.

To use this technique in a meeting, provide 12 areas for answering questions related to the central topic and ask meeting participants to provide answers to each question. For example, if the...

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The SOAR analysis technique is used by teams as part of the planning process. SOAR stands for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results. SOAR was developed by Appreciative Inquiry practitioners looking for an alternative to the traditional SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

To run a SOAR analysis, ask teams to brainstorm ideas in each of the four categories. Responses are typically posted to a 2x2 matrix then discussed.

Social loafing is a term used by social psychologists to describe how some people contribute less when they work in a group than they would otherwise. When working in a group, some believe that their effort is not required since the other members of the group are taking care of the work at hand.

Research into social loafing has found that this effect is minimized in smaller groups, in groups where people know one another fairly well, and when people believe that they can be held...

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A speaker queue is an online tool that allows meeting attendees to request to speak by virtually “raising their hand" and get into a queue. They are each subsequently given the floor to speak or present without distraction from others.

A stakeholder is an individual, group, or organization, who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project. The success of many meetings depends on ensuring that the needs and opinions of different stakeholders become part of the discussion.

A meeting where everyone stands up rather than sits down is called a standing meeting. Standing is meant to help keep the meeting short, as no one gets too comfortable. Daily Huddles are often conducted as standing meetings.

Agile practitioners hold a Stand-Up every day at the same time. The meeting purpose to bring everyone up to date on information that is necessary for coordination. Each team member gives an update on the work they've completed, what they plan to do next, and any...

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A standing meeting is any meeting that repeats on a predictable basis and creates an ongoing obligation on participant's calendars. For example, you may have a standing meeting with your boss every Tuesday at 2pm. A standing meeting should not be confused with stand-up meetings, in which everyone remains standing throughout the meeting.

Stop, Start, Continue is an exercise used to evaluate a group's activities and make decisions about which ones to prioritize going forward. Steps include:

Step 1: Setup
Create three blank lists labeled Start, Stop, and Continue. Start: Brand new initiatives or activities Stop: things the group is currently doing that aren't delivering value or that no longer align with the current priorities. Continue: things that are working and should be carried forward on the new plan.... read more

A status update is a regularly scheduled meeting, typically about a project, to exchange information. They can be held at various times during the project with different stakeholders.

Sticky notes are small pieces of colorful paper, usually square, with a light-weight adhesive strip on the back. Sticky notes are used for brainstorming sessions in order for participants to visually post ideas in front of others and/or remain anonymous as they write down and share ideas. read more

The Stinky Fish technique was developed by Åsa Silfverberg at Hyper Island as way to unleash group collaboration. The purpose of the technique is to surface hidden (stinky!) issues that may block true collaboration by putting them on the table as early in the collaboration process as practically possible. The group learns to open up and communicate with increased trust in one another, reduce pretense, and generally become more receptive to new...

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A meeting storyboard is a document containing a multi-column table used by organizers and facilitators to design the content flow for a meeting. The left column lists the key messages. The right column includes the slides or other visuals to be shown for each message. Additional columns can be added to capture timing or other details.

Strategic planning is a systematic process of envisioning a desired future and translating this vision into broadly defined goals or objectives and a sequence of steps to achieve them. In contrast to long-term planning (which begins with the current status and lays down a path to meet estimated future needs), strategic planning begins with the desired-end and works backward to the current status.

The Strategic War Room, contributed by Krister Forsberg, provides a way for leadership teams to come to a common understanding of insights about the organization. When complete, leaders get a comprehensive view (both mentally and pictorially) of the organization's strategies, goals, key stakeholders and delivery milestones. The Strategic War Room is metaphorical; a virtual "room" built by the leadership team over the course of several facilitated strategic workshops. When complete, the...

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A straw poll is an ad-hoc or unofficial vote. Straw polls can be useful in meetings to quickly determine consensus. For example, if a conversation runs long, the leader may call a straw poll asking the group if most of them already agree, or if they should continue the discussion. Straw polls work by judging majority opinion using a quick show of hands or online yes/no vote.

Structured Go Around

Surströmming Challenge

A swim lane diagram is a type of flowchart. The diagram usually shows a process, and steps are divided into categories to distinguish which departments or employees are responsible for a certain set of actions. Swimlanes may be displayed either horizontally or vertically.

A SWOT Analysis is an analysis of a group's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis may be conducted as part of an Environmental Scan in preparation for strategic planning. Strengths and weaknesses are usually internal, while opportunities and threats concern factors outside of your organization. The SWOT analysis includes steps for brainstorming, grouping, and prioritizing ideas in each category.

Synchronous communication happens when people interact in real-time. Most meetings include a dedicated time for synchronous communication.

Other examples of synchronous, or "real-time" communication include:

Phone calls Bumping into someone and talking to them Dinner conversations Talking to your kids while driving them around Texting back-and-forth with your partner And any other time you spend in active conversation with other people.

See the related terms for...

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