Running good meetings
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
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)
- Note taker
- Idea generator
- Devil's advocate
- Progress chaser
- Time keeper
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)