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


Three valuable tools that will improve meeting effectiveness.




Improving meeting effectiveness does not require complex models.  The following are three very simple but powerful tools that work.

 Action Register

Ask yourself if your team has a very good batting average for following through in a timely manner with commitments team members have made during a meeting.  If it is not a very high percentage I would recommend using an Action Register.  A template is attached that can be used.  Simply have someone in the meeting to note all action items that are identified during the meeting.  Then identify for each what is to be done, who is to do it and the date by which the action is to be completed.  It is important that the person committed to complete the task is in agreement with the date.  Then first agenda topic at each meeting is to review the status of each action item.  If an item was not completed on schedule a new completion date is to be identified.  This should not be the time to discuss the topic.  If it is pertinent to discuss the topic it would be an agenda topic later in the meeting.  I have found that people do not like for it to be clear that they did not do what they committed to do.  The result is that more action items are completed on schedule.

 Parking Lot

During a meeting it is common for a topic to surface for discussion that was not on the agenda.  So often a team gets off track and spends considerable time discussing that topic at the sacrifice of other more important topics that will now not be covered.  A better means for handling an unexpected topic that surfaces is for the team to stop and ask if this topic is more important that others on the agenda (the agenda typically contains all of the topics that should be covered and possible more).  If the group says it is important then they should decide which topics will not be covered.  Should the group decide that it is not critical to cover that topic in this particular meeting then it could be noted on the Parking Lot which is a running list of topics to discuss at a later time.  The Parking Lot is reviewed when identifying agenda topics for each meeting and the most important topics will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.  The location for the Parking Lot could be just below the Action Register as in the template referenced earlier.

 Decision Log

This is a running log of significant decisions made in a meeting and the date they were made.  Thus a simple running log that is available should there be debate at some time in the future regarding a particular decision that was made.  This log could be just below the Parking Lot.

I am not a believer in detailed minutes for a meeting as they can take a lot of time to document and typically very few people ever read them.  What is important is to document items on the Action Register, the Parking Lot and the Decision Log.


Try these tools as I think you will really like them.