Organizational Development Consultant and Leadership Coach

20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #14 Analogies and Metaphors

February 13, 2014

“Sometimes critical information isn’t understood in our meetings as clearly as I would like. Important points seem to get lost because they are either complicated, dull, or both. What alternatives do we have to get key points across?”



The ANALOGIES AND METAPHORS technique helps your meeting participants focus and crystalize their thinking and understanding of an issue. It can also be used to emphasize key points of a topic under discussion. This technique is especially applicable for information that is difficult to understand or explain in simple terms. ANALOGIES AND METAPHORS Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #13 Art

February 10, 2014

“My participants sometimes seem to get bogged down in their own logic. This inhibits their creativity and negatively impacts the energy of the group. I am looking for a way to get people to think more creatively so we can develop a deeper understanding of an issue. Is there a technique that will help us see things through different eyes?”

13. ART

What Is ART?

ART is a technique for helping your meeting participants think and express themselves differently.

When people articulate their thoughts in atypical ways, they tend to produce a broader spectrum of information. And sometimes the most Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #12 Charting

February 3, 2014

My last several blogs have described techniques to define and control meeting behavior and keep your meetings on track.  My next three blogs will describe techniques to improve the clarity of communication.  Today I’ll describe Technique #12: Charting.

 “Even though I think my instructions are clear, participants frequently ask me to repeat what I say. Also, points that are made in the meeting are often repeated later on. This is frustrating and always seems to slow us down. Can you suggest a technique that will eliminate these problems?”



CHARTING is a Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #11 Go/No Go

January 27, 2014

“What is the easiest way to ascertain if our meeting group is ready to move to the next agenda item or next part of our current discussion? Sometimes I’m not sure.”

11. GO/NO GO

What Is GO/NO GO?

GO/NO GO is a productivity technique that helps your meeting group decide whether or not to move forward. This can mean moving to the next agenda item, the next section of a complex question, the next step, or the next question or making any decision that requires a yes or no vote.

If an ongoing discussion is incomplete, and this often occurs Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #9 Shredded Questions

January 20, 2014

 “It seems as if conversations at our meetings always go around in circles. We talk about different aspects of the same question all at the same time. Is there a specific technique we can use that will give us some structure and control over this?”



The SHREDDED QUESTIONS technique outlines an orderly process for addressing a specific meeting issue or agenda item. This technique ensures that every appropriate facet or element of the specific issue under discussion will be examined thoroughly and efficiently.

Generally, the facets of meeting issues include:

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #8 Three P Statements

January 13, 2014

“Even though I think I’ve been clear, my meeting participants often question me about the specific function and value of group activities. They certainly have every right to know what is going on and why. Is there a technique I can use to better explain what will happen, how it will happen, and why it will happen?”


What Are the Three P Statements?

The THREE P STATEMENTS productivity technique explains the focus, methodology, and value of a given upcoming agenda item. It informs your meeting group of what to expect and what will be accomplished from Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #7 The Bell

January 6, 2014

“I have trouble calling our meetings to order. No one can hear me when other people are talking, even with a microphone. This is a problem before we begin, when we come back from breaks, and when we are using small group discussions. I nearly end up with laryngitis. There has to be an easier way.”



THE BELL is an effective and simple productivity technique to communicate to meeting participants that it is time to reconvene. Using THE BELL can save your voice and make you heard above the crowd.

When to Use Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #6 Verbal Warnings

December 24, 2013

            “I agree that each agenda item should have a time limit but, as we get into our conversation, sometimes we forget how much time has gone by.  More often than not, our allotted time is gone before we’ve come to any conclusions.  How can we avoid this problem?”



VERBAL WARNINGS is a productivity technique to help groups pace their discussions.  This technique involves verbalizing how much discussion or work time remains within a pre-determined and agreed upon deadline.

Having time frames assigned to Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #5 Parking Lot

December 19, 2013

In my last 4 blogs, I gave you specific techniques for defining and controlling meeting behavior.  They included:
1. Introductions
2. Clearing
3. Ground Rules
4. Pulse Check

Next I’ll provide the techniques to keeping your meeting on track.  These will include:
5. Parking Lot
6. Verbal Warnings
7. The Bell
8. Three P Statements
9. Shredded Questions
10. Self-Management
11. Go/No Go

Today’s blog focuses on 5. Parking Lot

            “Our meetings are continually spinning off onto tangents unrelated to our original agenda.  We never accomplish what we originally set Continue reading

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