Making Meetings Productive

Martin Haworth

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Have you ever been to a meeting that seemed to be going nowhere and was a waste of yours and everyone elses time?

Or have you ever been to a meeting where you wondered what had been agreed?

Only to show up a month later and find out that there had been no progress, partly because no-one knew what was expected of them. So they kept quiet with their heads down!

How frustrating!

To save this being a problem, one possibility that works really well is to have someone capture actions and who is accountable (and by when) for that action during the meeting.

This is then circulated to everyone immediately as the meeting closes, so there are no doubts.

Attendees know exactly what is expected of them and like a little miracle, things start to happen.

And those meetings aren't so meaningless any more.

Action - clearly state what is going to happen in an unambiguous way

Accountability - who exatly will make sure this happens - they don't have to do it themselves, but they are where the buck stops. It is agreed and accepted only by someone actually in the meeting.

Timeframe - when will the action happen by, without fail.

Written - once on paper or captured electronically it is fixed. This happens in the meeting, not afterwards, because it is captured and agreed at the time.

Circulated - preferably at the very end of the meeting as people go through the door - if not as soon as is possible and to everyone.

Five key words to make your meetings become much more productive!

© 2005-6 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website,

. . . helping you, to help your people, to help your business grow. . .


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