Ten Tips for a More Effective Meeting
By Marianne Reynolds, Reference Dept

This August, I attended a four-day intensive class at San Jose State University as part of my Master’s program. The class was “Interpersonal Communications for Librarians.” While some of you are snickering at the title of this class (I myself was worried it might be the cheesiest of all cheese-ball library classes), the class proved both enlightening and practical. We covered issues of personality, cooperation in small groups, and communication in large organizations. One segment of the class focused specifically on how to run more effective meetings. Personally, I found this very interesting and thought I would share the tips with my colleagues back at CSUS. Enjoy!

1. Only call a meeting when necessary.
2. Circulate a prioritized meeting agenda in advance of the meeting.
3. Stick to the agenda.
4. Come prepared for the meeting.
5. Begin the meeting on time and end the meeting on time, no matter what. (This means not waiting for latecomers to start the meeting, and not running overtime to cover all agenda points. Hence prioritizing the agenda, so important items are covered before time is up.)
6. Stay on task during the meeting. Stick to the intended discussion.
7. The leader of the meeting should not let any one person monopolize the discussion during the meeting.
8. Solicit input from everyone. If individuals do not feel comfortable contributing in front of the group, consider using Nominal Group Technique or having people submit ideas to the leader of the meeting before the meeting occurs. (For more information on NGT, perform a Google search on “Nominal Group Technique” or contact Marianne.)
9. Remember to listen. Even if you do not agree, listen to people without interruption.
10. Be tactful and show good humor.