Making meetings work

There are many different kinds of meetings, not all of which are specifically focused on getting things done.  For example we may meet with someone else to catch up with them or to pray with them.  Such meetings do not warrant a written agenda or someone to chair proceedings.  However, many of the meetings we take part should have some follow up activity, or else the meeting was a waste of time.

The key to making such meetings work are action points.  Without them meetings simply become talking shops where we go round the same loops each time we meet.  Action points should be:

  • Agreed – Is this what we want to happen?
  • Assigned – Who is going to do it?
  • Annotated – Written down because we all forget sometimes
  • Assessed – Did they do it?
  • Analysed – Was it successful?

The first two happen during the first meeting and ensure clarity regarding what is going to happen and who is going to do it.  The last two happen at future meeting.  These steps both provide for accountability, but also the opportunity for the team to check its own decision making and consider any necessary future action.

Have you got any other tips for successful meetings?

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