How To Have Productive Meetings

23 April 2013

In my communication culture work with business owners, leaders and teams one issue that arises again and again is “meeting madness”. You know what I am talking about…the seemingly endless meetings that litter your diary on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. There are meetings to talk about meetings, meetings to find out what’s going on, meetings to discuss this and that and meetings that seem to have no purpose or outcome, leaving everyone wondering what that was all about …

This “meeting madness” of getting together without a clear purpose or outcome is a waste of everyone’s time and energy. The impact is “meeting reluctance” where people turn up but don’t show up, where people share some stuff but not themselves and where the experience is less than satisfying or complete. And often the end result is having to schedule another meeting to deal with what wasn’t addressed!

As always in the paradigm of cause, it is quite simple to create productive and effective meetings … all the time, every time.

How To Have A Productive Meeting

  1. Before you begin, make sure everyone present is actually in the room. Not just the skin-bag flopped in a chair, but really present, in their body, and ready to engage. Ask everyone to close their eyes and breathe for a few minutes.
  2. Identify and communicate the purpose of the meeting.
  3. Determine the outcome(s)/results required and/or desired.
  4. If required, distribute an agenda prior to the meeting.
  5. Decide on a timetable and stick to it.
  6. Appoint someone to be responsible for keeping the meeting focused and on purpose.
  7. Ensure everyone involved knows the purpose and outcomes before you begin.
  8. Any items raised that are not on purpose/on the agenda get noted to be dealt with at a later date.
  9. Before you begin, request everyone agree to keep the meeting on purpose, on time and to achieve the stated outcomes.
  10. Review: agenda items completed/held over; action items and timelines allocated; meeting outcomes achieved.

When you are clear about your purpose and outcomes before you begin, meetings fulfil their purpose and everyone benefits.

Love Lorna

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


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