SURPRISE! You will hold this meeting...

That time when you had absolutely no expectation or preparation for the meeting, but your manager suddenly says, "Oh! Why don't you, Sergey, run this meeting?" (you'd think you'd have a choice?!).

Of course, in such a situation, you most often know the purpose of the meeting, and even the results to be achieved. And you probably have a rough idea of the logic of the discussion. But what will you say in your introduction? How are you going to start the meeting?

And a good start to a meeting or discussion session is critical to its success. The beginning of the conversation will set the tone, expectations, and mood for the entire discussion. To avoid failing at this important stage of the meeting, we recommend keeping in mind 3 important points in the introduction: Inform, Inspire, Engage! (IVE)

Inform participants about the purpose of the meeting, explain the objectives, the logic of the discussion and the issues to be addressed.

Encourage people to discuss the issues at hand by clearly building their understanding of what the outcome of the discussion should be and what benefits will accrue to each of them if the outcome is achieved. Explain to participants the important role they play in making these decisions, why they have been invited to the meeting, and what authority they have today.

Involve all meeting participants in the discussion as early as possible, identifying what their personal goals and objectives will be directly or indirectly addressed by the topic and how they will contribute to the overall goal of the meeting.

If you unexpectedly have to start a meeting and you don't know what to say, use the IVV. Inform first, then inspire and engage the discussion. For example, if you are leading a meeting about improving your sourcing and hiring processes, you could use the TED technique as follows.

Example of how to use TRS

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for agreeing to be at this meeting and contributing to some of the issues. I would like to start with why we are here. As you all know, we have had serious difficulty finding and hiring new employees. We've had problems both with the timing of finding new candidates, but also with hiring the wrong people, and we've had to spend a lot of time introducing and onboarding them, and soon, firing and finding new employees. Obviously, there were other problems besides that. And today we have come together to think about and create a new hiring process that will avoid similar mistakes in the future. When we finish this meeting, we'll have a description of the new process and a plan for implementing it.

Why it's important. If we are successful in addressing this issue, and do it well, we will have a clear sourcing and hiring process, with clear timelines, where we get the right, best fit people in the right positions, which will make for a healthier and more productive company atmosphere. Not only will each of us personally benefit from this solution (as we will be able to get the most suitable people for our teams), but our colleagues and management will be very grateful to us for the significant change in the company.

I want to make sure you know that you have been specifically selected to be part of the solution to this issue. Each of you has been nominated by your supervisor as an expert from the division. They believe you have the knowledge, insight and vision to create the best possible search and hiring process. And they look forward to your recommendations.

Before we look at the agenda, I'd like each of you to think about what you think we need to discuss today. Michael, why don't we start with you and proceed clockwise? Think about and say, what are some of the topics and issues in the sourcing and hiring process that we need to bring up? What have you seen successful in other companies' solutions? What do you definitely need to consider? If we want to improve the hiring process, what do you think is most important to discuss? Mikhail, let's get started...

The UHI intro method is a good tool to make sure participants understand why and wherefore they are here, what needs to be accomplished, and what the benefits will be. It helps to focus on the topic and validate the objectives. It can easily be used when you have had no time at all to prepare for a meeting.