How To Run Effective Meetings?

According to this study you’re going to waste 31 hours in unproductive meetings this month.

This process will help you and your team run effective meetings every time. 

On average an employee attends 62 meetings each and every month. The study found:

  • 91% of people admit to daydreaming.
  • 47% complain poor meetings are the #1 time-waster in the office.
  • 39% have even fallen asleep!
Effective Meetings Step 3

At WorkshopBank we’re passionate about meetings. We believe as many meetings as possible should be active learning workshops.

Use this activity to help your group reach a common understanding on what factors influence nightmare, good and brilliant meetings.

It’s similar to the standard ‘Ground Rules’ session but it has a deeper impact because it’s the participants who are setting the rules.

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    To help a group of Participants find their own way, understand, and progress towards effective meeting behavior.
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    This tool can easily be adapted to any theme or topic.

When Would You Use It?

  • Near the beginning of a training event where your objective is to improve and grow the participants towards a common goal.
  • After icebreakers, program, objectives, expectations of the participants and getting to know each other.

Why Would You Use It?

  • Telling people how they should act or behave might work (with limited success) on a small child but when it comes to adults the more effective route is to give them the space and process to find their own way.

Resources Required

  • 3 flip-charts (or 3 pieces of flip-chart stuck onto the wall).
  • Packs of post-its.
  • Marker pens.
  • Open-plan room with lots of space to walk around.


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    For the purpose of this process the theme of the event is ‘how to run an efficient meeting’ but you could adapt this process to any situation.
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    The Facilitator puts 3 sheets of flip-chart on the wall with these words: “Nightmare”, “Good”, “Brilliant”.
Effective Meetings Step 1
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    The Facilitator asks the Participants to think back and remember a meeting they attended that was a nightmare in their opinion. They don’t have to think of the same meeting and they keep this information to themselves.
  • 4
    The Facilitator asks the Participants to jot down on post-its why it was a nightmare (one point per post-it).
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    Repeat the process for Good Meetings and Brilliant Meetings. One point per post-it.
Effective Meetings Step 2
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    The Facilitator then asks the Participants to identify whether each point is related to ‘People’ or the ‘Environment’. You could ask them to divide the flip-chart paper into two halves and move each post-it to one side of the line or the other.
Effective Meetings Step 3
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    The Facilitator leads a debrief asking the Participants to explain deeper what they wrote generating additional comment from one another (which they can add to the chart as new post-its).

Great Questions To Stimulate the Conversation

  • Do you run meetings as part of your work?
  • How do they work currently?
  • How often would you say you have truly effective meetings?
  • What are your strong points?
  • What difficulties do you meet?

Secret Sauce

  • Before properly starting the session it’s good to warm them up with an informal conversation about a meeting they’ve attended as a spectator. This allows them to speak about someone else first before turning the analysis back on themselves.
  • The meeting they discuss doesn’t have to be in a professional environment. It could be any situation (e.g. parent’s meeting at school).
  • Participants will almost always mention that the difference between good and brilliant is difficult to conceptualize. This is great for you, the Facilitator, because they then have to think deeper on what’s needed to make it brilliant! This stretches them unconsciously.
  • They will note down many points on what a ‘nightmare’ meeting is (human beings are very good at talking about negative things!) That’s OK because this frees their mind from negativity, so they can now move to positivity. Unconsciously they move to good without you asking them to.

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About the Author

Marie-Agnès Delvaux is consultant, coach and trainer. She helps organizations and individuals to increase their performance by guiding them to change their paradigm.

  • Shaheed K says:

    Amazing bank. All the resources that one would require. Thanks for making this available

  • williams says:

    bi guys the link to this team building item is not listed?…. on this page

  • lee says:

    Ignore last email – just popped up – sorry

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