How often are you in rambling meetings or meetings that are not focused?
If you're in a meeting that's not well run, look around the room, is everybody else "showing signs" that's it's going badly?
Are you or everybody else wondering why you are there?
Learn to recognize the signs
That's your chance to step in - facilitating from the side; help to get meeting back on track
Ask clarifying questions from a place of humility:
I'm just a bit confused
maybe I missed this in the e-mail
what is it we're trying to get to
at the end of the meeting you would like to have...,
and that means you want us to,
help you do this,
let me clarify this
set the goal, agenda, define the role of the participants
can I write them down? do you mind if I put that on the whiteboard?
if you have the pens then you kinda run the meeting
start offering activities to help,
you would like to get our input,
just so I know could you let me know what's in scope and out of scope,
agenda bash to put ideas on the whiteboard,
what do we want to talk about 1st,
sticky note exercise,
I thought we'd review this document (that wasn't sent beforehand) - ask to postpone meeting
should we break out into small groups?
Structure and purpose of the document
Be clear on what it is people are doing
So who else had comments on X?
So what does this do?
Broker the conversation;
i didn't see anything about X, did anyone else have the same view?
Asking questions but structuring how it's going to happen
Be a time keeper for the meeting; start to provide time checks; there's 5 mins left should we start talking about next steps?
Can we take this away and read it? Use Google docs for team collaboration
Offer to help capture notes
Remember the goal and keep the meeting focused
Eg. move the "parking lot" outside the meeting room; "we're going to take that out of the room"
By asking questions what you end up with: goals for the meeting, defined the roles of the participants, define outcomes, scoped the conversations, developed a process by which we'll get there by suggesting activities, capture notes, provide time checks, push towards next steps , follow up afterwards