K. Joy Hamm
Training & Education Chair
Jr. League of Savannah
“We meet because people holding different
jobs have to cooperate to get a specific task
done. We meet because the knowledge and
experience needed in a specific situation are
not available in one head, but have to be
placed together out of the knowledge and
experience of several people.”
- Peter Drucker
Before you call a meeting, make sure that it is
◦ Is a meeting the best way to solve the problem, improve
the process, or make an ongoing plan?
◦ What is the PURPOSE of the meeting?
◦ What happens if I don’t call this meeting?
◦ What ALTERNATIVES do I have?
◦ How much will a meeting COST? Can you accomplish
your goals with an e-mail discussion or distributing and
requesting information through other means?
Make sure a meeting is needed and not just
convenient for you – you’ll get better results!
Ask yourself . . .
◦ Who needs to help you with/attend the meeting?
◦ What are the goals for the meeting?
◦ What is the end result that I expect from the
◦ When and where will the meeting take place?
◦ What should the agenda include?
Your meeting purpose will determine the
meeting focus, the meeting agenda, and the
“Begin with the end in mind.” – Steven Covey
Provide pre-work, charts, graphs, and
reading material 48 hours before the meeting
◦ Passing out reams of handouts at the beginning of
the meeting is frustrating
The more preparation time you allot, the
better prepared people are
Start and end of time
◦ Have time limits for each agenda item
◦ Keep the group on task
Keep an eye on the energy of the group
◦ Call for a break or table items if tensions develop
Try to sit in a circle so that attendees feel
more included in the process
◦ Encourage participation from all group members
◦ Don’t let anyone dominate
No one wants their time wasted!
Everything done in the meeting should move
the group toward completing the meeting’s
If a particular topic seems to be taking more
time than planned for . . .
◦ Hurry the discussion along
◦ Push for a decision
◦ Defer discussion until another time
◦ Assign the discussion to a subcommittee
If certain people are dominating the
conversation, make a point of asking others
for their ideas
Watch body language – take a break when
Stay on topic
Ask for feedback about the meeting
Always try to end on a positive note – even
when the meeting might have been
What decisions were agreed on
What assignments were given and to whom
What will be the topic of the next meeting
What, if any, unfinished items exist
Effective meetings involve a balance of
leading and facilitating
◦ Leading provides control
Stating your case, providing information, making
proposals, enforcing rules
Helps to get people involved
◦ Facilitating creates participation
Asking sincere questions, creating a void for others to
Lets the members of the group be the stars