Those short quizzes you find in magazines are almost always a bit fun. “How good of a friend are you?”, “How patient are you?”, or my all-time favorite, “Are you a pushover?” (I scored a high “yes” on that one, but my wife didn’t buy it. So, I agreed with her!) I often find that the quiz questions cause me to think a bit deeper about the topic, and I typically walk away with at least one new insight.
In my book, The Secrets to Masterful Meetings, I offer the following definition of a masterful meeting.
A masterful meeting is a well-prepared, skillfully-executed, results-oriented meeting with a timely start, a decisive close, and a clear follow-up plan.
Are your meetings masterful? Answer the following questions based on the last two or three meetings you led. In responding, score each question based on the scale below. Try to be as accurate as possible in your assessment. If you really want to have fun, have a peer or someone who regularly attends your meetings score this for you, and then, compare the two scores! (You might find that your peer’s assessment of your meetings differs significantly from yours.)
- ____ Participants knew the purpose and agenda for the meeting in advance.
- ____ The right participants were at the meeting; they arrived on time and stayed for the duration.
- ____ The meeting started on time and ended on time or early.
- ____ The meeting’s purpose, desired products, and agenda were each reviewed at the start of the meeting.
- ____ People spoke openly, honestly and respectfully, with one conversation occurring at a time.
- ____ The discussions stayed focused and on topic.
- ____ All participants were engaged in the meeting; no one dominated the discussion.
- ____ There was adequate dialogue and debate prior to making decisions.
- ____ Disagreements were handled constructively.
- ____ Any dysfunctional behavior (e.g., doing other work, speaking with disrespect) was addressed.
- ____ Prior to ending the meeting, all issues, decisions, and actions were reviewed.
- ____ The meeting produced a valuable result that could not have been achieved without a meeting.
- ____ Following the meeting, a summary of decisions and actions was distributed to all participants.
- ____ A follow-up process was used to ensure all assigned actions were accomplished.
Scoring the Quiz
Add up each score above to calculate your total score. Use the guide below to interpret how masterful your meetings really are.
If you scored 56-70 | Your meetings are generally masterful! More times than not, people enjoy attending your meetings because they know the meeting will be purposeful, focused, and productive, and will achieve an outcome worthy of the time invested.
If you scored 42-55 | Your meetings are typically above average. While your meetings generally achieve the desired goal, there are areas for improving meeting effectiveness and efficiency. Pay close attention to the lower scores to identify areas to improve.
If you scored 28-41 | There are significant areas for improvement in your meetings. Look closely at your preparation steps to ensure that every meeting you hold is necessary and is carefully planned. Consider training in engaging people in discussion, resolving disagreement, and managing dysfunction.
If you scored under 28 | Your meetings are far from masterful. You may find that people create opportunities to miss your meetings! Consider taking a training class or seeking a meeting coach who can observe you and provide one-on-one feedback on how you prepare, start, execute, and close your meetings.
Learn more masterful meeting tools and techniques in our course, Facilitating Masterful Meetings. This two-day course provides a structured approach for facilitating meetings along with tools and techniques for achieving amazing results from groups.
About the Author
Michael Wilkinson is the CEO and Managing Director of Leadership Strategies, the largest provider of professional facilitators and facilitation training in the country. Michael is a much sought after trainer, facilitator and speaker. He is a Certified Master Facilitator and a Certified Professional Facilitator. As a past president of the Southeast Association of Facilitators, the creator of the FindaFacilitator.com database and a board member of the International Institute of Facilitation, Michael is a national leader in the facilitation industry. You can get more tips from Michael’s books, including The Executive Guide to Facilitating Strategy, The Secrets of Facilitation, The Secrets to Masterful Meetings, and CLICK: The Virtual Meetings Book.