Jim Rose
EQ Consulting Services
611 Bear Den Road
Townsend, TN  37882


Is the purpose of a meeting always clear to all?

If the purpose of a meeting is not clear, it will be very difficult to have an effective meeting.  I have met with groups to assist with improving the effectiveness of their meetings and started by having everyone write down the purpose of their regular meetings.  It is amazing how many different viewpoints there were.  It could be a valuable exercise for you to do the same with any group with which you meet. 


Let me give you some examples of different meeting purposes:

-General communications

-Updates from participants

-Driving the strategic plan

-Problem solving

-Implementing initiatives

-An opportunity to solicit input

-Making decisions

-Get support for a decision

-Make an announcement

Groups that meet on an ongoing basis need to agree on fundamentally why they meet.  They may perform more than one type of activity in a particular meeting but that should be linked to their overall purpose.

When a group meets that does not meet regularly, the specific purpose of that meeting should be stated at the start of the meeting.  Even better, the purpose should be identified in the invitation to the meeting.  One example of a potential problem could be that some participants might think the purpose of the meeting was to make a decision.  However, the leader may have just wanted input.  This difference can cause frustration for everyone.

Is the purpose of the meetings you lead always clear?  Maybe you should ask some people.