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Guidelines for Productive Meetings

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

Productive meetings are often difficult to achieve. Often, participants walk away wondering if anything was accomplished. There is a methodology to having useful meetings. Having productive meetings increases the likelihood of successfully creating a positive school improvement plan. The following guidelines offer a roadmap for conducting productive meetings.

Use Agendas

Each meeting must have an agenda. It should be sent to participants in advance of the meeting. If not prepared prior to the meeting, use the first five or ten minutes at the start of the meeting to create one.

Have a Facilitator

Each meeting should have a facilitator who is responsible for keeping the meeting focused and moving. This role may be the Chairperson's, or the team may rotate it among its members.

Take Minutes

Each meeting should have a scribe who records key subjects and main points raised, decisions made (including who agreed to do what and by when) and items the group has agreed to raise again later in the meeting or at a future meeting.

Draft Next Agenda

At the end of the meeting, draft an agenda for the next meeting.

Evaluate the Meeting

Always review and evaluate each meeting, even if agenda items go overtime. The evaluation should include decisions on what will be done to improve the next meeting.

Adhere to the "100 Mile Rule"

Once a meeting begins, everyone is expected to give it their full attention. No one should be called from the meeting unless it is so important the disruption would occur even if the meeting was 100 miles away from the workplace. The "100 Mile Rule" should be communicated to those who keep taking phone messages or interrupt the team's work for other reasons.

Source: The Team Handbook, Peter Scholtes and other contributors, pg. 4-3 - 4-5. Portions of these materials are copyrighted by Oriel Incorporated, formerly Joiner Associates Inc and are used here with permission. Further reproductions are prohibited without written consent of Oriel Incorporated.

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.