A Chairpersons Guide To Keep Meetings On Track

Meetings are the greatest waste of time ever invented by man. How often have you sat in on a meeting, wondering why you were even there? Have you ever walked out after the meeting was over – having not accomplished anything? We aren’t born knowing how to run a successful virtual or in-person meeting, and unless you have been a member of a social club like Rotary, Kinsmen or the Lions Club, you most likely never learned how. Meetings can be productive if you don’t allow anyone to sabotage them. It takes a strong chairperson to keep meetings on track.

Worth Remembering … “All the real work is done by those low on the food chain. Everyone else just has meetings.” – Mick Herron.

Here are some suggestions on how to keep your meetings on track:

  1. Decide what type of meeting you’re going to have. Is it for sharing information or a group discussion to devise a solution to a problem? Does your meeting require a vote to reach a consensus?
  2. Successful meetings take planning. Have an agenda, who is talking on what subject and for how long. Keep your meetings 90 minutes or less. Anything longer than that, everyone will be asleep, and you’ll accomplish nothing.
  3. Distribute the agenda a week before the meeting to those attending so that everyone knows what is being discussed.
  4. Be sure to begin and end on time.
  5. Get everyone involved by having open discussions and healthy debates, and don’t allow anyone to take over the conversation. Make sure everyone gets an opportunity to express their opinion.
  6. If it’s not on the agenda – don’t allow anyone to introduce a new item.
  7. Does it require a minute taker to record all the items discussed during the meeting and the outcome of each item? If not, you should take notes for follow-up.
  8. Sum up the meeting. What was accomplished – what agenda times are still outstanding?
  9. Who should get a copy of the minutes if minutes were taken?

In the words of Dave Berry, an American author and humorist – “If you had to identify in one word the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that one word would be – meetings!”. Feel free to add to this list – but above all – keep your meetings on track.

Copyright (c) 2022. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Brian works with people who want to develop soft skills to communicate and interact more effectively and discover how to get the best out of themselves and others. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit https://briansmithpld.com or email him at – brian@briansmithpld.com