Turn Meetings at Work into Meetings that Work

Guidelines for Creating Meetings that Work

The following set of guidelines has been designed to serve as a practical set of criteria for ensuring that your organizational meetings are effectively designed and implemented.

1. Establish a clear focus and purpose for meeting.

  • Why are we meeting? Is there a legitimate reason for meeting, or are we simply meeting for the sake of meeting?
  • What do we hope to accomplish?
    • strategic planning?
    • project planning?
    • progress reports, updates and/or communication?
    • team building?
    • creative thinking or brainstorming?
    • problem solving?
    • conflict resolution?
  • Will this be a decision-making meeting or an advisory meeting — with recommendations and feedback only?

2. Determine the size of the meeting.

  • Who should attend? (The right people are one key to success.)
  • How large should the meeting be? (Larger is not necessarily more problematic.)
  • Do we need full or limited stakeholder participation?
  • Should participation in the meeting be mandatory or voluntary?

3. Determine the type of structure needed for the meeting.

  • What kind of process or structure will be needed?
  • Should the meeting be formal or informal?
  • Will we need guidelines or groundrules?
  • Who will draft the agenda?
  • What criteria will be used for developing this agenda?

4. Determine if facilitation will be needed.

  • Do we need a dedicated and committed leader who is actively involved with organizational issues and who can advocate for what is needed?
  • Or, do we need a neutral facilitator who can help to create an open forum for dialogue and decision-making among diverse stakeholders who have differing perspectives, needs, issues and concerns?

For more information about how we work with our clients to develop more effective meeting management strategies based on these guidelines see:

How We Can Help
Our Processes
Our Services

For more information about what actually happens in a variety of different types of facilitated meetings see:

How a Facilitated Session Works
Open Space
Partnering

For more information about how these guidelines may be applied within the context of your own organization, please contact us.