How effective are your team meetings?

Score each statement from 5 (this describes our meetings accurately) to 1 (they are not like this at all).

  1. Everyone is clear and aligned about the purpose of the meeting
  2. All the items on the agenda are relevant and of interest to everyone in the room
  3. There are “no surprises” on the agenda
  4. Anything “for information” is dealt with outside and before the meeting
  5. Everyone is clear about whether items are for discussion or decision
  6. Any papers essential for the meeting are circulated well in advance, so everyone has sufficient time to consider them
  7. Everyone is well prepared for the meeting
  8. We have very clear, effective and well-understood processes for decision making
  9. The most important issues are always discussed first and in most detail
  10. We have an appropriate balance between issues that focus on the past (what happened), the present (what do we need to do now) and the future (what we  need to do differently)
  11. Everyone feels safe in voicing an honest opinion
  12. We consider issues from multiple perspectives
  13.  Everyone feels respected and listened to – especially the less confident and most introspective team members
  14.  Everyone feels they have said what they need to
  15.  People feel able to ask questions about issues, with which they are not familiar
  16.  We are effective at parking issues that might side-track us
  17.  Apart from planned regular agenda items, issues rarely continue unresolved for several meetings
  18.  We are robust in our challenges but once a decision is made, we support each other fully
  19.  There is very little politics or power-play in our meetings
  20.  There is genuine consensus on decisions, not acquiescence
  21.  Decisions never get overturned by lobbying after the meeting
  22.  We maintain a good balance between sticking to the agenda timings and ensuring that issues are properly explored
  23.  We are courteous to outsiders presenting to our meeting
  24.  We build in time during the meeting to reflect on difficult decisions
  25.  Individuals or subgroups are not allowed to dominate the discussion
  26.  Everyone is engaged throughout the meeting (rather than checking their emails)
  27.  We review the quality of our meetings from time to time
  28.  The person chairing the meeting ensures that the discussion is summarised at appropriate points
  29.  Everyone is clear at the end of the meeting what has been decided
  30.  Are meetings enjoyable or bruising? (Do team members look forward to them?)


120 plus – your meetings are effective and enjoyable

80 to 120 – quite a lot of time and energy are wasted

40 to 80 – you can think of better places to be and better things to do

>40 – avoiding these meetings will be good for your health!

Copyright – David Clutterbuck

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