Thoughts on Meetings

Meetings without an agenda are like a restaurant without a menu. — Susan B. Wilson

General Keys

The Importance of Purpose

The single most important thing to prepare for a meeting to be absolutely clear about the purpose of the meeting. There are two level of purpose to consider:  The first is what you intend to accomplish in the meeting, and the other, higher level, is the reason to behind what you wish to accomplish. If you are unclear about the purpose our advice is to not have a meeting, it is unlikely to be productive and therefore successful.

Ask the following questions (with clear and specific answers) to determine the purpose of your meeting:

First level purpose: What do we wish to accomplish in this meeting? What do we want to come out of the meetings with? What is the output of the meeting?

Higher level purpose: Why have the meeting? Why accomplish what you wish to accomplish in the meeting? You are having the meeting so that you _________?

Do an input/output analysis of the meeting (Determine the inputs and outputs of the meeting). The output will indicate the purpose.

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