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How to have a planning session.

How To Assure That Your Planning Session Works.

The subcategories that need to be addressed in this include:

  • Determining When and Where to hold the meeting
  • Creating an atmosphere for thinking and planning
  • Assuring that the right people are there (and the wrong ones are not)
  • Choosing the correct length for the meeting & Setting the Tone
  • Gaining Agreement to your guidelines for the meeting
  • Getting Buy-In before, during and after the meeting
  • Keeping people in the right frame of mind
  • Handling Disagreement and Encouraging Participation
  • Managing the flow and process of discussion
  • Knowing when and how to use Silence
  • Handling Distractions and unruly participants
  • Dealing with delicate issues and “the Elephant in the room”
  • Keeping Track of the Decisions and Agenda items
  • Anticipating the follow through and gaining commitment
  • Choosing the right System to keep everyone on Track

One of my favorite experiences over the years has been coordinating Planning Retreats and Summits. I plan for everything starting with the rumors about the meeting to the travel experience on the way to the meeting and the post-event discussions that are sure to take place. We try to be deliberate and intentional about as many things as possible. This applies to 6 person retreats and to 200 person summit events. The more you direct and guide the more things will go your way.


For example; when you announce your meeting who will you tell first? Whose input will you seek as you plan your planning meeting? Is there anyone whose support or endorsement would make a strong difference in how others will see things? Will the timing of your meeting exclude certain key people? Is the location a challenge? How can you make it easier and more desirable for people to attend? This same kind of anticipatory thinking needs to be applied to every aspect of the meeting. Use the checklist above to discuss your next meeting with your team and give me a call if I can help.


Remember; none of us is as Smart as All of Us. So get others’ input early and often.