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David Sidwell

Making all your meetings effective

We’ve all been in meetings that never seemed to get going, meetings that drivelled into existence, where everyone was instantly bored and passive.

So here’s a foolproof method for getting any meeting off to a good start and keeping it on track.

Take control by asking and agreeing the answers to four key questions...

1. Where have we got to now?
...unite everyone by recalling the outcome of previous meetings, and previous group involvement

2. What was the purpose of that work?
...remind everyone of what we’re supposed to be doing. It helps here to recall specific fun moments. Don’t forget the misery moments too: where you don’t want to go again!

3. What are we doing now?
...specific purpose of today How are we going to achieve it and how long are we going to take over it? ...the possible methods to be used (brainstorming, workshops, etc) – but beware of letting the meeting start until you’ve completed the opening with...

4. Where will this leave us? What’s our desired end state?
Only then can the meeting start. But for a meeting to be really successful, you need to close it with two more questions...

5. Who’s going to do what?
Write down the action items, owners and delivery dates

6. When shall we meet again?
Agree follow up date.

Yep, I know you already know this. But do it you do it?

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