Leading Great Meetings



A practical workshop to give meeting facilitators the tools to share information, solve problems, make decisions and develop plans quickly and effectively.

Learn how to:

  • Keep on time and on topic
  • Use the talents of the entire team
  • Intervene to correct dysfunctional behaviors
  • Design agendas that include both process and content
  • Prepare effectively
  • Promote creativity
  • Reduce meeting time dramatically, without compromising quality
  • Solve problems quickly
  • Make decisions by consensus
  • Ensure that action items are attended to


Organizations are calling on their teams – temporary and permanent - to provide better, faster and lower cost services. Yet in spite of all the hoopla about teams, most fall far short of expectations. There are many reasons for the shortfall in performance as are the solutions. But few things will make a greater impact on team performance than the time that they spend together in meetings. 

This intensive workshop will give managers the skills to bring a divergent group of people together and mold them – during meetings - into a high performance team, capable of planning together making decisions and solving problems quickly and effectively.


This workshop will enable participants to:

  • understand the role of facilitator
  • produce excellent meeting outcomes
  • reduce the meeting times by at least 50%
  • develop effective agendas, including appropriate processes for each item on the agenda
  • establish ground rules that will improve commitment to outcomes and process
  • guide the group through a step-by-step problem solving and decision making process
  • ensure full participation throughout
  • handle a variety of dysfunctional behaviors inside and outside the meeting
  • wrap up meetings in such a way that everyone is crystal clear about commitments and next steps
  • manage conflict effectively


The training will be customized. It will incorporate state-of-the-art adult education techniques to ensure that people learn and transfer their skills into their daily work.

Participants will benefit from ongoing feedback from their peers and the trainer. They will participate in an informal learning environment, which will encourage active participation, fun and openness.

The dynamic workshop will simulate a variety of meetings, each with a different purpose and human dynamics. The learning will be powerful since each new concept will be demonstrated and then practiced by  participants. Participants will have many opportunities to prepare for each type of meeting, conduct it and then analyze the result afterwards.

We will challenge participants to use the skills right away. They will have the ability to call on us informally, at any time, for help regarding the use of any tools that they learned in the workshop.


1-2 days depending on the needs of the participants.



  • The purpose of organizations.
  • The importance of teamwork as a performance enhancing strategy.


  • The role of meetings in high performance teams.
  • The 5 types of meetings.
  • The difference between process and content.
  • The 4 key roles in meetings: what they are, what they do and why they are important.
  • Necessary props that enhance the effectiveness of meetings.
  • The difference between running and facilitating a meeting.
  • Why facilitation is partly a science and partly an art.
  • The 3 golden rules of successful facilitation.
  • A checklist to plan and evaluate all meetings.
  • The 4 key agreements that will start your meeting off on the right track.
  • How to end a meeting to ensure clarity and significant outcomes.


  • Who should facilitate?
  • The difficulties of facilitating problems you are familiar with.
  • The principle of intervention.
  • Knowing which issues to intervene in, when and how to do it.
  • Designing an agenda that will allow you to estimate the time of each item accurately.
  • Learning to distinguish between process and content.


  • Three ways of making decisions: when to use each.
  • The value of consensus.
  • The 8-steps that will dramatically reduce the time it takes to reach a consensus.


  • Why people struggle to solve problems together.
  • The importance of a road map.
  • The five steps to problem resolution.
  • Why we often forget about the cause.
  • Some simple tools to use in problem solving meetings, including Brainstorming, Cause & Effect Diagrams and the Pareto Principle.
  • How to encourage creativity.
  • Developing an action plan to make sure that decisions made are followed through.


  • The 3 most challenging dysfunctional behaviours.
  • What, where, how and when to intervene.
  • Using the group to intervene.
  • Dealing with negativism.


  • The difference between good and bad conflict.
  • Five strategies to deal with conflict.
  • Picking the one that works best under the circumstances.
  • How to be proactive and avoid conflict.
  • The 10 golden rules of how to give feedback assertively.



"Extremely enjoyable session."

"Very well done. Made potentially dry day very interesting. Look forward to using the techniques."

"Excellent practical experience & application of theory."

"Good day. Kept to agenda & was very clear."

"Really energizing day."

"More useful than I expected."

"Just a note to say: I had a 'great meeting'!

My first meeting as chair went extremely well; it was the first meeting of the business year, the agenda was as full as I dared to make it (the staff wanted to load it up but I resisted!) and we had almost 100% attendance.

The meeting lasted as long as past meetings, an acceptable amount of time.

Most important and gratifying for all of us was full participation and full agreement on all items.

The keys to success? I believe it was in imploring everyone to speak their minds (encouraged participation), requesting participants to be clear about their positions, repeating and summarizing decisions.

I remembered to watch, listen, ask questions, get agreement and summarize.

I got to the meeting first, picked a (new) chairman's location to sit (midway along the table, the clock behind me on the wall); I started on time (luckily I had a quorum!).

End result? We took action on every item, (some decisions were not what I anticipated (good)) and I received compliments after the meeting from at least half the participants; yep, that's the reward!

Cy, last week I walked away from the workshop thinking 'I enjoyed that but I'm not sure what I learned to do about meetings'. Now I know - 'ask questions, get agreement, summarize'. Everyone spoke, everyone was involved and consequently, we made good decisions.

Many thanks for your guidance and advice.

Jim Kirk,

Trustee and Chairman of Strategic Management Committee, York Central Hospital Board"