Running Better Meetings


Running Better Meetings. What is Disliked the most about meetings: This comes from a 3M survey completed by 3,400 respondents in 1999.

Meetings can be Painful!




Most professionals who meet on a regular basis admit to


Daydreaming–91 percent

Missing meetings—96 percent

Missing parts of meetings—95 percent

Bringing other work to meetings—73 percent

Dozing during meetings—39 percent

Why care about meetings?

Effectiveness: As much as 1/3 of the time spent in meetings is unproductive.


Successful meetings don’t just happen.

Rather, they occur by design.


Effectively run meetings enable managers to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, with the added benefit of group involvement and buy-in.






Why else?

Money: U.S. Businesses spend more money on conducting meetings than any other country in the world.


Estimates of the cost for a meeting of eight managers range from $300 to $700 an hour.

Research shows that companies waste an average of __ percent of their payroll on bad meetings.






Intel Corporation

Is the world’s largest chip maker, also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products.

Is an example of an organization that takes its meetings very seriously.

Do you know the purpose of this meeting?

Do you have an agenda?

Do you know your role?





Walk into any conference room at any Intel factory or office anywhere in the world and you will see a poster on the wall with a series of simple questions about the meetings that take place there.


Write specific goals for the meeting.

Can the meeting be replaced by less expensive activities?


Voice mail


Estimate the value

of the results you want

to obtain for the





Start by writing clear, complete, specific goals for the meeting.


Avoid unstructured general discussions.


Two of the Seven Myths

Executives belong in meetings.


Top management is responsible for vision, strategy, plans, and communication.


Holding a large meeting is impressive.


Invite only those who can make meaningful contributions.




Myth #1: Although the demands of business cause executives to attend more meetings than other professionals, executives need to ruthlessly avoid meetings. Executives should spend most of their time thinking, learning, planning, and communicating.



Things to do Before the Meeting

Decide who should be there.

Send out a calendar notice well in advance.

Send out an agenda.

Send out minutes from the previous meeting.

Review expected topics with key members.

Get materials ready.





Two Goals of Every Meeting

Task goal: what task confronts them


Maintenance goal: feel better about themselves as a result of their interaction




Maintenance: introductions, name tags, environment

Things to Include on the Agenda

Time constraints

How to prepare for the meeting


Matters arising from previous minutes

Financial statements

Committee reports (should be circulated before the meeting if possible)

Type of action needed or expected for each item



Things to do At the Meeting

Limit the meeting length and frequency.


Start on time even if all members aren’t present.

Any meeting held for longer than an hour or more frequently than once a month should be scrutinized.

End on time even if you are not finished.





More things to do At the Meeting

Encourage participation. Decision making is often improved by involving the team.


Meetings should not be a reporting venue only.


Putting unreasonable time limits for each item does not encourage participation.


Try brainstorming.





May want to consider using a consent agenda.


Consent agendas are intended to streamline the process of approval of regular, routine issues that come before the committee, based on the assumption they have been dealt with in an appropriate fashion. For more information, I can get you a sample policy. Setting Strategic Direction Fall 2003, p. 8




Reasons Why People Don’t Participate


Fear of retribution


Natural introversion of some people



Leader Can Overcome These By…

Placing “safe” subjects ahead of known controversial topics on the agenda and


Asking individuals for their thoughts.



More things to do At the Meeting

Maintain order and seek consensus.

Use an organized democratic process. Roberts’ Rules of Order

While unanimous agreement on decisions is an optimal outcome, total agreement cannot always be achieved. Consensus represents a collective opinion of the group, or the informal rule that all team members can live with at least 70% of what is agreed upon.






Understanding Motions

A motion is a formal recommendation put to a meeting for debate and consideration. The motion has to be supported by another person (seconded) before it it open for discussion.

What happens if a motion has no second?

If the motion passes, it becomes a resolution.



Taking a Vote

Verbal Vote—most frequently used


Show of Hands—used when there may be a close vote


A Ballot Vote—used when electing officers


In the event of a tied vote, the chair has the final or casting vote.



All shall be heard, but the majority shall decide.



More things to do At the Meeting

Manage conflict.


Conflict is a normal part of any team effort and can lead to creative discussion and superior outcomes!


Maintaining focus on issues and not personalities helps assure that conflict is productive rather than destructive.




The more you know about how to handle conflict, the better.


Tell them about how you have come to enjoy it even though at one time, you hated it and avoided it all costs. Talk a bit about being a woman.

Conflicts in Meetings

Conflict is NOT inherently bad. Conflict stems from differing viewpoints.

Unmanaged conflict can lead to violence and insubordination.



How to Handle Difficult Participants

Difficult participants probably do not feel they are being difficult, only that the group is ignoring their position.

Use “I” statements

Actively listen

Repeat the key points

Never get into a





If the person who is disagreeing with you is raising valid questions, it may benefit the group to address the issues they are presenting.


If the person continues past the point of disagreement to the point of disruptiveness, specific steps should be taken.

Interferences During a Meeting

Crunching ice


Clicking a pen




Taking up too much time with your point





Meetings are an important management tool and are useful for idea exchange.


Thank everyone

For participating.