I was reading the Wall Street Journal yesterday while flying home from some organizational meetings in Little Rock. I had participated in two full days of meetings, which were led effectively and efficiently. The WSJ ran a story on meeting killers in the Personal Journal section. Sue Shellenbarger penned the article and highlighted such meeting killer personalities as the Jokester, the Dominator and the Rambler. It was a well done and insightful piece. At the end of the article Sue listed some principles she had gleaned from several meeting planners and executives towards more productive meetings. Our meetings reflected several of these and thought they were worthy of a quick post.
1. Set a clear agenda
2. Impose a “no devices” rule or schedule a periodic tech break for email, texts and phone calls.
3. Redirect people back to the agenda when they ramble or digress.
4. Draw out quiet people by asking them in advance for a specific contribution.
5. Do a “round robin,” when appropriate, to allow everyone to contribute.
6. Ask early for objections to keep them from derailing discussions later.
7. Limit the length of slide presentations.
8. Interrupt people who talk too long or talk to each other.
9. Set an ending time for the meeting and stick to it.
Here is the link to the complete WSJ article.