Meetings and how to stop wasting time

I have finally managed to catch up with my’professional’ reading and came across a good article by Helen Chapman, Senior Consultant, Unicus Coaching and Development, writing in Pipe.Line* (the Journal of the Pharmaceutical Information and Pharmacovigilance Association).How to Run Effective Meetings: Top 10 tips for effective Meeting Leadership.

As the abstract notes, it is the work that takes place away from the meetings themselves that is the secret to having effective meetings.

Helen Chapman’s tips are:

1. Build an effective relationship with all meeting participants.

2. Create an open and structured environment for discussion

3. Keep the meeting moving at a sensible pace and keep people on their toes

4. Demonstrate that you have control of the agenda, minutes and actions

5. Ensure topics are discussed at an appropriate level of detail

6. Make decisions

7. Allocate tasks and responsibilties

8. Make the most of new technology

9. Keep momentum going between meetings

10. Close the meeting on time.


All of these points are seem straight forward and valid – how many of us haven’t wasted time at rambling meetings and ended up feeling resentful and unwilling to take actions that were only skirted round, not defined precisely?

The whole article is well worth reading as Helen Chapman explains how to tackle each of the 10 points.

* Pipe.Line 2008, February (16):14-15