Are Your Meetings Masterful? Take this Quiz to Find Out
By Michael Wilkinson, CMF
Managing Director, Leadership Strategies, Inc.
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, however, 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 someone who regularly attends your meetings score this for you, and then compare the two scores!
|___ 1.||Participants knew the purpose and agenda for the meeting in advance.|
|___ 2.||The right participants were at the meeting; they arrived on time and stayed for the duration.|
|___ 3.||The meeting started on time and ended on time or early.|
|___ 4.||The meeting’s purpose, desired products, and agenda were all reviewed at the start of the meeting.|
|___ 5.||People spoke openly, honestly and respectfully, with one conversation occurring at a time.|
|___ 6.||The discussions stayed focused and on topic.|
|___ 7.||All participants were engaged in the meeting; no one dominated the discussion.|
|___ 8.||There was adequate dialogue and debate prior to making decisions.|
|___ 9.||Disagreements were handled constructively.|
|___ 10.||Any dysfunctional behavior (e.g., doing other work, speaking with disrespect) was addressed.|
|___ 11.||Prior to ending the meeting, all issues, decisions, and actions were reviewed.|
|___ 12.||The meeting produced a valuable result that could not have been achieved without a meeting.|
|___ 13.||Following the meeting, a summary of decisions and actions was distributed to all participants.|
|___ 14.||A follow-up process was used to ensure all assigned actions were accomplished.|
Scoring the Quiz
After adding your scores from the quiz above, use the guide below to interpret your score.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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 Facilitation Company and author of The Secrets of Facilitation. He is a Certified Master Facilitator and a much sought after strategic planning facilitator and speaker.