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Meeting Wise


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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
Overview of the Book 3
How to Use This Book 5


1 Why Focus on Meetings? 9
Time as a Resource 9
Meetings as Powerful Learning Spaces 12

2 The Meeting Wise Checklist 19
Purpose 21
Process 24
Preparation 32
Pacing 34

3 Using the Checklist 39
Complete Agenda Overhaul
Greenville Fifth-Grade Team Meeting 40

Targeting Intentional Collaboration
Jackson County Central Office Leadership Team 48

Targeting Adult Learning
Sheldon Academy Faculty Retreat 54

Targeting Outcomes
High School Parent/Teacher Conference 58

Targeting Problem Solving Over Compliance
Statewide Quarterly Superintendents’ Meeting 61

Targeting Connections
National Anti-Bullying Network Virtual Meeting 64

The Meeting Wise Agenda Template 68


4 Setting Up for Success 73
Foudnational Setup Tasks 73
Recurring Setup Tasks 78

5 Wise Facilitation 85
Keeping to (and Deviating from) the Agenda 88
Supporting Full Engagement 99
Managing Conflict 108
Maintaining Awareness of the Role You Play 116

6 Wise Participation 119
Keeping to (and Deviating from) the Agenda 121
Supporting Full Engagement 124
Managing Conflict 129
Maintaining Awareness of the Role You Play 133

7 Becoming Meeting Wise 141
Finding an Entry Point 142
Words to the Wise 148

Selected Readings 153
Selected Protocols 155
Protocols in Brief 161
Quick Reference Guide 165

Notes 173
About the Authors 175
Index 177

About the Author

Kathryn Parker Boudett is the director of the Data Wise Project and a lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Elizabe th A. City is the director of the Doctor of Education Leadership (EdLD) Program and a lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


"Meeting Wise offers a set of guidelines and case studies, with the aim of giving educators practical advice for improving the efficacy of meetings. The text is more than a handbook, however. Boudett and City seek to encourage educators to reconsider how they think about - and approach - the meetings they lead and attend. Educators need not view meetings as annoyances or distractions. Instead, the authors argue, these venues can be rich sources of collaboration and invention." -- Charlie Tyson, Inside Higher Ed

"Meeting Wise is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to gain value from his or her meetings. I, for one, will assign it to my leadership classes as a 'gift' title to enhance their skills and appreciation for collaborative learning." -- James J. Harrington, The Journal of Continuing Higher Education

"Highly recommended especially for educators; Meeting Wise is also an extremely useful resource for any career professional." -- Jennifer Simmonds, Midwest Book Review

"This is a short, practical book that I strongly recommend to any administrator. There is also useful advice on being a good meeting facilitator (rather than simply a chair) and on being a good participant. More importantly, when I finished reading the book, I could, in fact, imagine a time where I looked forward to meetings." -- Lee Skallerup Bessette, Women in Higher Education

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