Deliver your best performance in meetings (Part 5 of 6)

In this blog post, I’ll spell out Step 4 of my 4-Step Process for getting the most out of meetings … top tips and techniques I have discovered, invented and developed over several decades. These are the principles I use to keep expanding my capacity to achieve more with less.

I would love to hear your ideas and feedback – so please take the time to comment at the end of this post.

Like you, I am always looking for new ideas to enhance both the effectiveness and efficiency of the performance of the teams in which I play.


Start in the present – end it in the future.

Most meetings consist of a standard format that has three main parts:

  • They begin with some reporting, bringing everyone up to speed on what has happened (the past)
  • They then move into considering what options exist, discussing what decisions need to be made (the present)
  • They finish with agreements and recommendations, a discussion about what is coming up on the horizon (the future)

Leading a meeting involves sensing when and how to seamlessly shift a group through this sequence of stages. I use a combination of written, audio and video reports to team members in advance of meetings to help ensure everyone is up to speed before they arrive at the meeting. If we can reduce the time that needs to be spent on “the past”, we can spend more of our valuable time together on “the present” and “the future”. Cloud-synced project and task management systems (like Nozbe) are very powerful collaborative tools for keeping everyone up to speed with what is happening across the portfolio of projects that a team has in play.

It Ain’t Over ‘til it’s Overcome

You know your work is done when everyone in the meeting understands what the most important 3-6 actions are that need to be taken next. That occurs when these actions are recorded for all to see.

My preference is an electronic, printable whiteboard, and to write the actions up in front of everyone to witness and agree. (As an alternative to a printout, you can use a smartphone to take and distribute a photograph of what is on the whiteboard.)

Assigning a person who is ultimately responsible as well as a due date for delivering each of the outcomes helps ensure you have overcome any obstacles to people being able to go away from the meeting and perform as required and expected.

CLICK HERE to read the previous article in this 5-part series titled, “Develop how you plan an agenda”.

GO TO THE NEXT final article in this series titled, “Apply the 4D Change Model to your meetings”.

DOWNLOAD [PDF] the full report on ‘How to get the most out of meetings’.


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