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and Team Building.
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According to the National Statistics Council, an average of
37% of employee time is spent in meetings. During the average meeting time,
agenda items are covered in only 53% of it.
Opinion Research Corporation survey indicated 38% of workers
feel most of the meetings they attend are not effective in achieving what
they were meant to accomplish.
To determine your meeting productivity
percentage, read article
Are Meetings Producing a Loss
or a Gain? and use the FREE meeting evaluation forms at
http://www.shirleyfinelee.com/FreeForms.htm to find your numbers.
Then determine what to do to improve and keep measuring until goal is
people to hold better meetings, the meeting wizard suggests the RARA
Approach. This means planning with Roles and an Agenda. Then
following up with Records and assigned Actions. However, change is
hard for people - even when it is a good thing. So add in new
components not currently used in subsequent meetings one at a time. If
all 4 components are new, then start with the A's and add the R's in future
meetings. This way current meeting members do not feel they are being
forced to change too much too soon while all will see an immediate
improvement in meeting productivity.
For those already
3T's (time, topics, talker) for creating a meeting agenda,
meetings should be more efficient than they were before. To make
meetings more effective, begin
assigning actions using the 3 W's (who, what, when).
This means making sure all action items are captured and assigned to a
person to do outside the meeting with a due date before the current meeting
To make getting
action items accomplished by team members seem more fun, turn it into an
exciting game or friendly competition. For instance, at the end of a
specified time period such as a business quarter, the team member who
volunteered for and completed the most action items would win a prize or an
honorary title. For some project teams, action items may not be
equally distributed in relation to ease of work or time required for the
action. For project teams, the project manager may want to use most
hours outside of meetings to accomplish the actions as part of the prize or
title requirement. However, this will only work if all members are
equally part-time assigned to the project rather than a mix of full and
part-time since the full-time members would always win.
The RARA book has a
reproducible form for creating meeting actions and/or minutes in it that
readers can use. Or the author also will email the form as a
Word to document people who have read the book per instructions at
Another form option option
for tracking meeting action items is to download the
Meeting Minutes with Action Items short form Word template from the
Microsoft site. If desired, there is also a long minutes form that
may be found be doing a search on the site.
For tracking all team
tasks, including meeting action items, Excel or Project helps to keep
everything in one place. Using one of these tools makes it easy to add
a "where" column as well indicating the status of each task - like not
started, in progress, completed or deleted.
"Don't let your learning lead to
knowledge; let your learning lead to action." -
"Speak little, do much." -
A Meeting Wizard's Approach
a a no-nonsense and much-needed self-paced guide to planning and conducting
meetings so that they are as productive, effectual, and smoothly run as
became featured on BestEzines
in 2008 where it has received multiple hits and some high ratings.
This year (2009) the
2bproductive blog became an
approved part of
where you can rank and recommend it too. This blog is
designed to help
with personal and professional productivity.
Follow the Meeting
Wizard on Twitter
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