As a leader, your ability to run effective meetings is critical to eliciting high performance and encouraging individuals to work collectively to achieve a goal.

The leader's first step in achieving effective meetings is identifying the necessary roles for running a meeting — and deciding who is best suited to take on those roles.

Role Responsibilities

Not all meetings will require all roles, and sometimes the person who has called the meeting might perform more than one role. The roles below are suggestions as to the kinds of activities that are required for a successful meeting.

The TIME KEEPER lets the team know how much time has elapsed, how much time they have spent on particular items, and when it is time to move forward.

The RECORDER writes down answers to the questions or keeps notes on the team meeting. Before recording something, they ensure that ALL team members agree.

The ENCOURAGER ensures that all team members participate in the discussion, asks people what they are thinking, might say, “We haven't heard from … ,” etc.

The CHECKER ensures that all team members understand what is being said or agreed to; pays careful attention to non-verbal signs that individuals are confused or have questions; may ask a team member(s) to further explain a point, why a person thinks or feels that way, or ask another team member to put something into his own words and see if there is agreement.

The SUMMARIZER summarizes what has been said by paraphrasing (“What you are saying is … ,” or “So we all agree that …”). After summarizing, be sure to check with each member to be sure everyone thinks it captures the main ideas, etc.

The REPORTER reports back to the large group on the work of the small team. They can always ask for help.

The REMINDER reminds people to use “Yes and … ” to be sure that all ideas are accepted and recorded.

The CONSENSUS CHECKER ensures that consensus has in fact been achieved by asking each team member if she agrees or if he can live with the decision, etc.

The FOCUS SETTER reminds and applies priorities that the team has identified and ensures that tasks and discussions are in alignment with this focus.

This article was adapted from a past RCMA tutorial led by Ron Brondyke, Holly Froumis, and Eddie Tadlock.

Road-Blocks to effective Meetings

  • Negative thinking
  • Lack of time
  • Discomfort with the group
  • Lack of listening
  • Unwillingness to allow ideas to breathe
  • A lack of ideas