Running good meetings

Maintaining momentum
Roles in a group
Running good meetings
Meeting deadlines
Giving and receiving feedback
Spotting and dealing with problems

Having good meeting processes is important for keeping the group on-task and making progress. Good meetings are task focused, allow contributions from all group members and are facilitated skilfully by the chairperson/leader.

To follow are some strategies and approaches for good meeting process, and good meeting leadership.

Before the meeting

  • Schedule the meeting carefully.  Who, when, where, why?  Can all members attend?
  • Plan what the meeting is meant to achieve.
  • Prepare a meeting agenda, and distribute before the meeting.
  • Have a clear list of things to discuss and work on, decisions that need to be made.
  • Decide who will prepare an agenda.
  • Decide who is chairing the meeting.
  • Decide who is to take notes.
  • Set up the meeting room.

During the meeting

  • Start on time, and finish on time.
  • Review the last meeting, have actions required from previous decisions been done.
  • Review progress since the last meeting.
  • Conduct the business of the meeting briskly.
  • Move through the various topics on your list in an orderly way.
  • Spend a balanced amount of time on the different things discussed.
  • Focus the discussion around decisions that have to be made.
  • Make a clear record of the decisions made.
  • Make someone responsible for each decision that requires action.
  • Set clear time frames or deadlines for the tasks.
  • Make someone responsible for distributing the meeting notes/decisions to all group members.
  • Ensure that everyone knows the actions they need to complete before the next meeting.
  • Decide the time and place for the next meeting.
  • Decide what the next meeting will consider.
  • Decide on the roles in the next meeting - who will prepare an agenda, distribute the agenda, chair the meeting, take minutes/notes
  • Close the meeting positively.
  • Clean up the room
(Adapted from: Gibbs, G. (1994) Learning in Teams: A Student Manual. Great Britain, The Oxford Centre for Staff Development. p33 and Trace Tips, accessed 21/2/06)

After the meeting reflect upon

  • Was the meeting successful (Why/why not)?
  • Was the meeting enjoyable (Why/why not)?
  • How might we make the next meeting more productive, interesting, fun etc.

Roles in meetings

(see also Roles in a group)

  • Facilitator/leader/chair
  • Note taker
  • Idea generator
  • Devil's advocate
  • Progress chaser
  • Time keeper
  • Expert
  • Mediator
  • Presenter

HINT: For each meeting, make sure you all agree to submit your notes and/or preparation. This helps to make 'free-riders' more accountable.

(Adapted from: Gibbs, G. (1994) Learning in Teams: A Student Manual. Great Britain, The Oxford Centre for Staff Development. p11 and Trace Tips, accessed 21/2/06)