Make Meetings Matter


When meetings are effective, the potential for results is unlimited as participants feel energized and valued. They contribute freely, find solutions and make decisions. Things simply get done

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Key Takeaways
  1. Meeting roles (make sure everyone knows their role before the meeting)
    1. Initiator - person who calls the meeting and "owns" the problem or issue
    2. Facilitator - serves as the process leader; must remain neutral and objective; assertive but not abrasive; create a safe and trusting environment
    3. Timekeeper - assists the group by reminding them of beginning and ending times
    4. Resource people - provide input and expertise for group
    5. Participants - share information and input, make decisions and generally contribute to achieve the meeting's purpose
  2. Before the meeting
    1. Purpose - establish a clear purpose and expected outcomes for your meeting. Determine if a meeting is really necessary
    2. People - decide on the people who will attend based on whether they can help achieve the purpose. Clarify the roles of each participant
    3. Place - select the proper location, meeting space and room set-up to accomplish your purpose
    4. Preparation - Select the most important content items to be discussed, solved or decided and prepare an agenda; then, plan the process, give participants advance materials and handle logistics arrangements
  3. During the meeting
    1. Focus - reconfirm purpose, outcomes, and agenda; work the agenda to stay on track; use a timekeeper to be aware of time; record ideas, decisions and action items; make sure people read and absorb any materials sent in advance
    2. Facilitation - encouraging all participants to learn and use effective facilitation skills. Empower the facilitator to run the meeting process
    3. Feedback - observe and respond to ongoing feedback during the meeting.
    4. Fun and Fellowship - know when to use some light humor while still getting serious matters accomplished
  4. At the end and after the meeting
    1. Consensus - make clear decisions that everyone can live with and support; don't waste time on matters everyone agrees upon; beware of groupthink
    2. Closure - establish clear action steps, timetables and responsibilities (what, who and when something must be accomplished). End on time
    3. Critique and celebration - evaluate what was accomplished and the effectiveness of the process. Affirm everyone's contribution
    4. Communication - Make a permanent record of the meeting output and distribute it to participants and others. Follow up to keep project on track
    5. Meeting summary - recap of main discussions; decisions made; actions steps (what, who and when); meeting process debrief; send to appropriate people
What I got out of it
  1. What to do before, during and after meetings to get the most out of them

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