#569 Innovative Leader
Volume 12, Number 1
ABCs of Managing a Meeting
Donald L. Caruth, Ph. D., SPHR and Gail D. Handlogten-Caruth, SPHR
Dr. Caruth and Ms. Handlogten-Caruth are human resource management
Rockwell, Texas (firstname.lastname@example.org).
They are authors of Managing
Compensation (and Understanding, Too) (Quorum Books, Westport,
is as ubiquitous in corporate life as meetings. In some
organizations, so it seems, a person could spend his or her entire
working career going from one meeting to another and feel as if he
or she has never accomplished anything resembling work.
wag once said, ďHalf the time spent in meetings is wasted. The
only problem is that we havenít identified which half it is!Ē
Meetings, however, donít have to be wasteful, nonproductive
events. They can be turned in to effective undertakings by
following to the ABCs of meeting management.
- Assign timekeeping responsibilities to someone at the beginning
of a meeting; a timekeeper helps the meeting stick to its time
- Begin the meeting on time; it is the best way to begin.
- Calculate the costs of meetings; it may deter you from meeting
- Donít permit distraction or diversions.
- End the meeting on time; it is the best way to end.
- Follow-up on all assignments made during the meeting; make
certain the work is being done in a timely fashion.
- Grade the effectiveness of each meeting. What would have made it
- Hold the meeting standing up; this speeds up deliberations
- If the purpose for holding a meeting is not perfectly clear in
your mind, donít hold it, it wonít be clear to anyone else,
- Just holding a meeting because it has always been held is a poor
excuse for wasting time.
- Keep an eye on the time; it has a way of getting away from you
if you donít monitor it.
- Limit attendance to only those people who really need to be in
- Minutes of the meeting should be distributed as quickly as
possible after the meeting is over.
- Never hold a meeting when memos or telephone calls will
accomplish the same purpose.
- Organize agenda items so that the most important ones are
- Prepare and distribute an agenda in advance.
- Quickly summarize the results of a meeting at its conclusion.
- Remember, successful meetings donít just happen: they have to
be planned and managed.
- Stick to the agenda; it is the roadmap for a successful meeting.
- Time phase every item on the agenda; e.g., 15 minutes for Item
A, 10 minutes for Item B, etc.
- Unscheduled business should not be discussed; put it on the
agenda for the next meeting.
- Value the time of each meeting participant; do not waste it.
- Work, work, work. There is no short-cut to having a productive
- eXhibit genuine concern for making every meeting effective and
- You cannot run a productive meeting without an abundance of
- Zealously keep discussions on track and in focus.
wasting meeting time now! Put the ABCs of meeting management to
work for you and see the difference it can make in your