8 ground rules for better meetings

Rarely do I hear people talk about the great meeting they just attended. Instead, they'll complain about meetings starting late and ending even later, watching two people dominate the discussion, and confused about what they hoped to accomplish when together. So why do the tolerate or endure meetings rather than seek to make them great?  As change agents, we have the opportunity to reframe and refocus meetings that engage people's dreams, gifts and passions while also helping further God’s kingdom.  A friend and colleague of mine, Jim Merhaut, suggested that meetings should have some ground rules and I whole-heartedly agree.  Listed below are some ground rules I think most meetings could benefit from.  

- We start and end the meeting at established times.
- Only one person speaks at a time.
- We conclude one topic or agenda item before moving on to another topic or agenda item.
- Talkative members work on listening more; quiet members work on talking more.
- All decisions are reached with an agreed-upon percentage of votes at meetings that represent an agreed‐upon quorum.
- Angry outbursts are not permitted.
- Strong emotional disagreements will be settled outside of the meeting time.
- Meetings will conclude with a review of accomplishments and assignments.

What ground rules would your meetings most benefit from?  What ground rules might you add to this list?  Have your leader review and discuss Leading Meetings that Make a Difference and Viewing Meetings as Worshipful Work to explore additional ways to make meetings something that people look forward to rather than dread.

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