Tags: Classroom Teacher | Continuing Professional Development | Time Management

Do you feel as though you’re spending most of your time in meetings and not necessarily achieving anything? If so, you’re not alone.

Regus, in their report, ‘How Britain Works 2003’, stated that on average, 30% of all meeting time was considered unproductive. This is certainly backed up by the number of people I hear saying things like ‘what a waste of time’ or how ‘poorly managed’ their meetings are and, most frightening, ‘I’ve no idea why I was there!’

by Sharon Langford

If you have a feeling of ‘meeting over-dose’ then give your meetings a ‘health check‘ by applying these Top 10 Tips for EFFECTIVE meetings:

1 Clarify the purpose of the meeting.

2 Who really NEEDS to be there? (The most effective meetings have a maximum of 10 attendees).

3 Create and publish an agenda in advance – allocate time to each item depending upon its importance.

4 Be clear about what preparation attendees need to do. Distribute pre-meeting reading as appropriate.

5 Turn up on time, start on time and finish on time too.

6 Have ground-rules for the meeting.

7 Ensure discussion is centred on the agenda items.

8 Summarise regularly during long discussions to help everyone to stay focused and to clarify who has committed to agreed actions.

9 Critique the quality of your meeting at the end – find out what you do well and what you could do to improve your meetings.

10 Circulate notes and action points within 48 hours of the end of the meeting.

What commitments will you make to ensure that your meetings make the most effective use of everyone’s time?

Sharon Langford Kaleidoscope Learning Solutions

This article first appeared in Teaching Expertise, July 2005.

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