Learning Objective

To learn methods and processes that will improve the productivity of meetings you run, or attend.

Target Audience

Anyone who organises or has to attend meetings. In other words, everyone!


  • Do you need a meeting?
  • Who’s invited?
  • Leaders and Participants
  • Agendas/Objectives
  • Control Factors
  • Follow up

A mixture of logic and common sense, that starts with a question “Is a meeting really necessary?”

Cost of meetings, rated in terms of collective wages, and lost opportunity. Cost of bad meetings – wages, opportunity, and demotivated people.

Meetings as an investment – would you be a shareholder? If your portion of the cost of a meeting was charged to you personally – would you pay the bill?

Meetings have suppliers and customers. Is yours profitable? ‘Who should we invite?’, If you didn’t say anything at your last meeting, and haven’t got something to do as a result of it, Logic = why were you there?

Advance warning, advance preparation for those contributing, ‘check calls’ to ensure people have prepared.

Choosing a suitable time and venue. Setting meeting objectives, preparing an agenda and doing time calculations so the invite specifies a start and finish time. Responsibilities of organisers, attendees, and Meeting Leader. Issuing Agendas in advance, handouts. Ensuring data is available in advance – discipline issues.

The solutions rule – “Bring your complaint wrapped in a solution sandwich” The criticism rule – “Follow your criticism with your idea of how to do it better” Timekeeping, Start time, Agenda item timing, finish time. Prioritising of Agenda items. Staying on the Subject. Dealing with late-comers. Authority issues. Managers leading by example – the more senior, the better the example should be. When is a meeting Leader being too controlling? Appointing a Sheriff.

Meeting courtesies and protocols like mobile phones and ‘the revolving door’. All staff are equals and deserve courtesy. Using ‘visiting staff’ Use of Open questions to draw out responses, and Closed questions to ‘direct traffic’, get agreement, or change the subject.

Recording minutes and agreements. Summarising decisions and agreements Dead-lining, and appointing a Sheriff to check progress between meetings. Setting the next meeting date.


Length: Half day

Format: Interactive workshop

Optimum number of participants/facilitator: 18

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