How to Have Effective, Productive Meetings

How many times have you heard people say “I spend too much time in meetings to get anything done” or “I just attended another wasteful meeting” (maybe you have said something similar yourself)?

Make the most of every meeting for you and your staff by assigning roles and responsibilities for everyone involved. If everyone knows their role and responsibilities, your meetings will become more effective, efficient, focused and successful.


The leader is the one who:

  • Sets the agenda
  • Selects the participants
  • Makes the announcements and has all preparations handled
  • Makes sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities
  • Starts and ends the meeting on time
  • The leader can express opinions and provide information throughout the meeting.

Meeting Attendees

Every person in the meeting has their roles and responsibilities and should be prepared to participate. They should:

  • Be attentive
  • Contribute ideas
  • Express their opinions
  • Be prepared
  • Be on time
  • Not be distracted


The role of the facilitator is to conduct the meeting. The facilitator has the responsibility to:

  • Encourage participation
  • Make sure everyone is involved
  • Keep the group focused on the meeting objectives
  • Protect people from personal attacks
  • Not let someone “be a sniper” and shoot down everyone else’s ideas
  • Keep asking questions to see if there are other solutions and/or approaches to suggestions
  • The facilitator does not give their opinion or contribute ideas. They are strictly there to facilitate the meeting towards a particular outcome.


The role of the recorder is not to evaluate ideas or make suggestions. They should be:

  • Taking copious notes
  • Creating minutes
  • Writing on flip charts and white boards
  • Distributing the notes to all participants after they have been approved

Participants should stay in their role and only be in one role at a time. If anyone wants to switch roles they must announce it to the group before they do so.

Try this for your next meeting to see how effective your meetings will become. And remember to only have meetings when they are needed for announcement and information sharing.

Copyright © Gary Sorrell

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