I like being able to call in to meetings.

I dislike it when the first half of a meeting consists of reliving the prior meeting for the benefit of people who missed it.

I like the mute feature on my phone.

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Agreed. I would like videoconferences more. But then they could see you rolling your eyes 🙂 I’ve never done it but I like the idea of different styles of meetings. Standing meetings. 15 minute meetings. Wiki meetings. Anything new is good as most meetings are run poorly

Mark Danielson

Instinctively, after thousands of meetings in a 21-year career from the first day I was made Personnel Director for 600 people Jan. 1, 1997, I consider this:

For strategic planning: Written, timely, published agenda and information distribution with the expectation of folks in attendance to contribute something is good. Goal: Action items assigned to individuals, with a firm timeline, budget and deadline. Linked to overall mission/goals.

For Operations: Agenda – issue well described – “Well started is half done.” Players _ Deal makers and deal breakers_ all in attendance. Action items, who, when, budget.

For people conflict: Who are the deal makers and deal breakers (Parties?). Address all of them. Do all parties agree to work on this issue? Is there a law/rule/directive that forces the meeting? Do we need to caucus (meet individually) with the parties re: issue? What is the issue (what is each person’s set of “facts?”)

What happens (consequences) if we do nothing?

What are the interests and possible other solutions for all parties? Possible solutions and fall back plans are often couched in the form of demands. What is the real matter of the heart driving the issue? How can I use active listening techniques to find out what’s going on?

I like to float a few one-line integrative positive solutions that square with the facts, address interests, and if, with the solution integrating as many possible solutions as possible, you can address the matters of the heart, success rate will increase with execution.

Plan for the future and follow up.

If these things aren’t happening in a meeting that I’m asked to attend, I’m known as an agitator. And sometimes a pest.

O Kate, meetings! You had to bring it up.


Everyone, everyone should have a speaker phone w/ mute button and a headset. It’s the only way to survive.

Kate, check out an old blog post of mine for Meeting Survival Tips! You might find some activities to enjoy.