If You Want A Meeting To Be Productive Start It With A Clear Statement Of Objectives And End It With A Recap Of Action Items With Responsibilities

I can remember the uncomfortable business experience of attending meetings that didn't start at any particular place, wandered all over the announced subject matter-- the kind which everyone wonders, afterwards, why the meeting was held.

Meetings are held all the time in organizations to permit a group of people to communicate and make progress toward accomplishing some objective, especially where there exists a division of duties and responsibilities. The key, however, is to have the meeting serve a real purpose in making progress toward an objective.

Your meetings will be successful if you clearly understand the purpose of getting together, and communicate that purpose to the persons attending. In all the presentation I make the first chart reads "WHAT WE WILL COVER", or "PURPOSE OF THE MEETING".

The second significant event to make your meetings payoff is to get unanimous concurrence from all attendees on what steps will be taken next (action items), who is to perform them, and when they are needed. These items are the key items to document in the minutes or memo of the meeting, and as the objectives for the follow-up system.

©  2002 John D. Toellner, All Rights Reserved