Making the most of meetings

Meetings are part of life for any leader or executive. I spend a lot of my life in meetings. Consequently, I am seriously committed to making them productive. Here are some things I’ve learned you have to do to make the most of meetings.

1. Cut your meetings in half. Thanks to the advice of my friend, Jim Wideman, I recently stopped meeting with the same people every week. I moved my every-week meetings to every-other week. I’ve found that in every-week meetings, more normally gets said than done. Moving those every-week meetings to every-other week has led to much more productive meetings. 

2. Work from an agenda. I average 15-18 meetings a week between our staff, ministry partners and other children’s pastors. Nearly every one of them work from an agenda. Agendas make sure you are staying the course.

3. Identify a driver. One of the first questions I ask when stepping into a meeting is, “Who is driving this thing?” Every successful meeting needs a leader and it doesn’t have to be you.

4. Have a reasonable start and stop time. I’m a practical person that naturally hates meetings. I’d rather do something than sit down and talk about it. This is why I don’t meet with anyone for more than an hour at a time. If I meet with you for more than an hour, it means we are talking about something massively important or I don’t have a choice. Meetings can be time-savers or time-wasters, so you need to keep them short.

5. Keep good notes. This is where Evernote comes into play. Evernote is the absolute best way to capture and organize notes.

6. Schedule a meeting with yourself now and then. If you call my assistant wanting an appointment, there are two times you won’t get. It’s Monday mornings and Fridays. I don’t meet with people these two times. These are times I have scheduled for myself. You’ve got to have time to dream and plan, even if it requires scheduling time for it.

So, that’s my two cents worth. What do you do to make the most of your meetings?

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4 Comments on “Making the most of meetings”

  1. 1 Kaye Chalwell said at 9:24 am on March 29th, 2012:

    Great thoughts. I heard someone on the radio recently talking about how he outfits “walking” offices. One of the things he suggested was going for a walk while having a meeting. I have tried this and found that for certain kinds of meetings this works really well. But most of all I want an agenda and an action plan with people’s names attached. Kaye

  2. 2 rfrank said at 12:56 pm on March 29th, 2012:

    This is a great idea Kaye! I’ll have to try it! Thanks.

  3. 3 Jim wideman said at 11:15 pm on March 29th, 2012:

    Thanks for the blog love. When I grow up I want to be like you!

  4. 4 rfrank said at 1:38 am on March 30th, 2012:

    Thanks for being a great mentor and friend!

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