Making your Meeting more Productive

It is important not to waste people’s time in meaningless meetings.  It has been said that “the worst of all murders is the killing of time.”  Uninspiring meetings will destroy enthusiasm, innovation, morale, and productivity.

More Productive Meetings

Practical Ideas for making Meetings more Productive
  • Use an Agenda.
    • Always have an Agenda that lays out what the meeting will cover and in what order.
    • Share the Agenda with the attendees before the meeting begins.
    • Do your dead-level best to stick with it.
  • Keep the Agenda small.
    • Trying to cover too many things in one meeting leads to skimming topics and creates no real value for the Division.
    • Keep the number of items down, and brothers will leave the meeting feeling energized rather than overwhelmed and exhausted.
  • Focus on the right things.
    • Spending time attempting to hash out things brothers have no control over gets nothing accomplished and only makes brothers feel frustrated and negative.
    • Stay focused on the things you can actually do something about.
    • Focus on problems that need to and can be solved.
    • Focus on decisions that must be made.
  • Schedule the monthly meetings on a regular basis.
    • Same week of the month.
    • Same day of the week.
    • Same time of day.
    • Avoid canceling meetings unless an emergency arrises.
  • Consider the meeting space.
    • Dull rooms, bad chairs, and lack of ceremonial decor can lead to stale meetings.
    • Change the layout of the meeting room from time to time.
    • Remember, “variety is the spice of life”.
  • Prepare properly for the meeting.
    • Being unprepared drains energy, wastes time, and causes the group to get little done.
    • Make the meeting worth attending.
  • Be punctual.
    • Starting late (and running long) is insidious.
    • Never allow a meeting to run more than an hour.
    • Keep your eye on the clock.
    • Situations do arise where a meeting can be delayed or go beyond the stated ending time. However, get back on schedule to the extent to which you can.
    • If you finish early, end the meeting and go right into the social hour.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the gavel.
    • Never allow a meeting to get out of hand.
    • Never allow brothers to debate each other to the point of getting into arguments.
    • Never allow a brother to engage a topic with a long discussing.
    • Limit the time for comments and reports.
    • Reports should not be read.  They should only be summarized, with time dedicated to important points.
    • Do not allow back room chatter.  Keep the brothers focused on the topic of discussion.
    • The officer running the meeting must be willing to terminate digressions.  Always stay on topic.
    • When terminating digressions, do so in a firm but non-confrontational way.
  • Provide informational or cultural handouts for distribution at every meeting.
  • Remember: Outstanding Divisions make the best use of a most precious resource: time.
  • At the conclusion of all meetings, hold a social hour for the brothers.
    • Plan to have some type of food and beverages available (keep it simple, but inviting).
    • Appoint a hospitality committee to arrange the social hour.
    • Plan to have music playing in the background or arrange for a guest speaker.
    • Provide a video of common interest for entertainment.
    • Providing a social will give the brothers a meaningful reason to come back.
    • Remember:  “All work and no play make the meeting a dull thing to come back to.”