Organizational Development Consultant and Leadership Coach

20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #10 Self Management

January 23, 2014

“How can I stimulate the participants in our group to become more involved and take more responsibility for our meeting’s success?”



SELF-MANAGEMENT is a productivity technique for stimulating participant involvement and sharing responsibility for and ownership of meeting success.

Participants in the meeting accomplish this by breaking apart the different roles of the meeting facilitator and sharing them among themselves. These roles include a facilitator, recorder, minute taker, and timekeeper, as well as a facilitator in small group discussions.

When group members share the facilitation duties, their involvement and ownership increases automatically. SELF-MANAGEMENT increases meeting success by sharing responsibility and also stimulates better focus, commitment, and participation.

Every meeting needs to focus on both process and content. The process and facilitation of a meeting support the content. It is very difficult to focus on both of them simultaneously. Group leaders will find that separating the two enables them to focus on content most effectively.

Regardless of whether you delegate these roles or do them all yourself, please know that they must be performed, and it’s helpful to think of them all consciously throughout your meeting.


  • When you want to separate the content of the meeting from the process of facilitation
  • When you want fuller group participation in your meetings
  • When you use small group discussions within your meetings


1. Describe the SELF-MANAGEMENT technique and its purpose to the group.

For example: “We want our meetings to be more successful. As each person’s involvement in the process increases, contribution and ownership increase as well. By breaking down and sharing the meeting facilitation roles, we can accomplish this result. What do you think?” … “A successful meeting facilitator has several roles and responsibilities. These include:” (Use a chart or overhead similar to the below)


Facilitator:      Facilitates the meeting. Takes a leadership role in planning the meeting.

Recorder:        Records all comments, ideas and decisions on chart paper.

Minute Taker: Prepares the minutes.

Timekeeper:    Keeps track of time limitations.

2. Select participants to fill the meeting roles.

You might say, for example: “In order to share responsibility for the success of our meeting, I’d like to suggest that at each meeting we rotate these roles. What do you think?” … “I’ve planned to lead this meeting, but who would like to be our recorder?” … “our minute taker?” … “our timekeeper?” … “Thanks, everyone. Let’s see how our meeting runs with this new shared responsibility.”

OPTION: You may assign these responsibilities before the meeting and announce them in the meeting.

a. The facilitator facilitates the meeting, using different participative processes to accomplish each agenda item.

As stated above, the manager or group leader does not have to facilitate the meeting. In fact, it is a good idea to rotate this responsibility. Be sure to assign facilitator responsibilities for the next meeting before your current meeting ends so the new facilitator can adequately prepare.

NOTE: If you are the manager or group leader and you delegate the facilitation role, please meet with the facilitator before the meeting to ensure that you agree on the agenda, processes, and time frames.

b. The recorder records the group’s comments, ideas, and decisions on chart paper.

Often the facilitator acts as the recorder. But when the group is large or the conversation is difficult to facilitate, it is better to have a separate recorder. Give recorders spelling amnesty. Correct spelling is not critical; however, it is critical that recorders accurately capture the thoughts of all members of the group.

c. The minute taker prepares and sends the minutes of the meeting shortly after it is finished.

The minutes of the meeting should include highlights of the discussions, the decisions made, and next steps.

d. The timekeeper keeps track of the time limitations. (See VERBAL WARNINGS, Technique 6, for timekeeper instructions.)

3. When your meetings utilize small group discussions, each group should have its own facilitator, timekeeper, and recorder.

NOTE: It is a good idea to move around and listen to what is happening within the groups to assure that everyone’s thoughts are documented, everyone is getting a chance to be heard, and the groups are on track.


SELF-MANAGEMENT is a technique for increasing participation and ownership by sharing meeting responsibility. This is accomplished by sharing the roles of facilitator, recorder, timekeeper, and minute taker among members of the group.

1. Describe the SELF-MANAGEMENT technique and its purpose.

2. Select participants to fill the four meeting facilitator roles.

3. In small group discussions, each group should nominate its own recorder, timekeeper, and facilitator

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