Agreements of Meetings

There’s nothing worse than a poorly run meeting—one that takes an hour to accomplish five minutes of work, or wanders in overlapping circles until everything is tabled for the next meeting.

Meetings are essential, but they don’t have to be pointless or painful. The key is to establish effective agreements for every meeting. For example:

Every meeting will have a written agenda distributed in advance.

Agenda items will be actionable—another one that too many meetings fail to follow. That means your agenda won’t include an item that says, “Holiday party.” Otherwise you’re in for a wandering half-hour brainstorm about the holiday party. Instead, you might say, “Choose location and set budget for holiday party – 10 minutes.” Boom! That’s actionable. Things will actually get done, and people will feel good about it.

Every meeting will have a designated timekeeper who will work to keep everyone on track and the agenda on schedule.

Those three agreements alone can transform meetings overnight from exercises in pointless collective misery to a driving force for your organization’s success.

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