• Tara Humphrey

Managing Multi-Professional and Multi- Provider Meetings

For those of you in the early stages of developing a GP Federation, Community Education Provider Network (CEPN) or new model of care, it’s likely you will have a variety of people from a variety of different organisations sitting on your board or steering group.

While you will all have a vested interest in what the project or entity may be, developing an agenda which is engaging for all can be challenging due to different; organisational cultures, hierarchies, decision-making processes, understanding of each other’s roles, business models and objectives.

To prevent unproductive meetings or valuable members from switching off during your meetings, you may find the following 3 tips useful.

1. Create a Terms of Reference.

It only needs to be a short document which states the purpose of the group, aims and objectives, and lists the organisations including their roles and responsibilities.

This document is a shared understanding of why you are all there and what you aim to achieve.

2. Declare the objective of your meeting

Alongside general updates, it’s likely that each meeting will have an overarching objective. This might be:

Signing off the governance

Developing a strategy for communication and engagement

Or, developing a funding proposal idea

Get used to declaring the objective of your meeting to reiterate to the group why they are there.

Along with this, acknowledge that some areas of business may be specific to a particular professional group/ people/ organisations. Not only does this show good leadership skills, but also demonstrates your understanding and appreciation of other people’s time and contribution to certain parts of the agenda.

You may want to keep targeted discussions towards the end of your meeting, giving those who aren’t part of this discussion the opportunity to leave a little early.

3. Prepare and Observe

Preparing for your doesn’t mean just circulating the agenda well in advance.

As the Chair or Project Manager, think about the people attending and consider how their expertise can contribute to the discussion. You may want to reach out to certain people on your board before your meeting to touch base with them to reiterate their importance to the group.

And, during the meeting, be sure to read the room and observe people's body language as it will give you valuable feedback, and also try to solicit all views and not just the views of the loudest voice.