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Meeting Mastery

This tool provides in-the-moment prompts to create breakthrough decisions and engagement. It is everyone's responsibility to apply these skills.


Require an agenda--even if created at beginning.


Quickly frame issues when start topic: Problem, context, expectations of team.


Summarize: During and at end.


Assess take aways and ask what would be a higher value meeting in future.


Skills and Details

1. Define Agenda Topics

2. Frame Topics

3. Clarify / Discover

4. Summarize

5. Invite

6. Test

7. Amplify Others

8. Share Point of View

9. Confirm Decisions & Assignments 

10. Assess Meeting

1. Define Agenda Topics

Determine the topic, the type of topic, and amount of time needed. Avoid creating a meeting with too many informs!!! Here are five primary topic types:

Inform: Share updates, policies, and small assignments. 

Discuss: Gather data, share research, identify interdependencies, discover opinions, and surface risks.


Decide: Commit to a path, assign who is doing what by when

Develop: Build skills and knowledge

Connect: Enhance understanding and relationships among team.

2. Frame Topic

When you start your topic, bring people into your world by framing so they have reason to focus. Don't assume they are on the same page--even if they were in the last meeting.


Problem/topic: Quickly introduce the goal, need, or problem to be solved before jumping in to discussion.

"We are needing to find a way to overcome the supply chain shortage of widgets."

Context: Quickly provide what has already happened or about to happen. (Challenges, implications of problem, and actions taken).

"The problem has been that our two suppliers are both facing increased demand and lower supplies. This has made us two weeks behind on delivering to our customers. So far we have met with them and met with three potential new suppliers."

Action wanted: Tell people what contribution they need to provide during and after. (Decision, funding, ideas, risks, obstacles, action by their teams, individual action, etc.)

"What I need from you today is to help identify options we have not considered and identify risk associated with those options. We will take these back and then make a recommendation next week.  So let me give you the details"

3. Clarify / discover

I'm am not sure I fully understand. Can you expand on...?


What have you already tried?

What do you want to make sure we understand?

What are some of the obstacles you are facing?

How is this affecting you? Your team? Your customer?

What are the implications of x on y?

What do you see as the main problems we are trying to solve?


What problems does this recommendation take care of? What problems still exist if we do this?

What are you needing us to do?

How would you know this is a success?

What do you believe is still missing?

4. Summarize

Summaries are helpful during topics, at the end of topics, and at the end of meetings. Confirm decisions and assignments. Often the summary brings out what is missing. When in doubt, SUMMARIZE!


During: So I am hearing  X, Y, and Z have been completed but you still need to finish R and S. Is that right?

During: The implications of the slowdown are that we will miss the August 7 deadline if we do nothing but if we are willing to spend $100,000 on contractors we could meet the deadline. Is that right?


At End: So we have agreed on X and Y and to start these by June 5th. This means Paula will provide recomemndations at next week's staff and George will get the data on costs to her by this Friday by 5.


At End: So we have agreed on moving forward with the Delta project and Liz will take the lead and provide a project plan in next month's planning meeting. But the rest of us have no action items for now.

At End: While we are agreed on adding a new person to the team, we are still not agreed on all the skills sets, and we need to get input from Mark's team today so that we can finalize and post. So... Mark will email me recommendations by noon tomorrow and I will then write up and get it to recruiting tomorrow afternoon.

5. Invite

Please tell me what I am missing in the way I see this.

What do I need to hear that I am not getting?


Say more about your concerns (or ideas) 


Expand on that...




Can you give more of the story behind the story?


What else?


Go on


I'm interested in this...Can give more detail?


Can I test some of our assumptions?


What would have to be true for this to work? 


Can I push against that a little and ask how do you see that addressing...?

To what degree do you see this solving versus moving the problem?

To what degree do each of you agree with what has been proposed--on a scale of 1-100?

Do we have owners for each part of this?

Are we willing to stop doing X so there is room for Y?

Are we willing to invest the dollars needed to fully do this and stop doing X?

7. Amplify Other Voices

Provide support for all voices to be heard. 

Did you get your full idea out? I felt like there was something more to be shared.

I want to hear more of your thoughts on...

Do you feel like we understood your idea?

I agree with Sara's point. It addresses these three concerns we discussed.

What do you want us to understand that we may be missing?

8. Share point of view

I believe this can be done because of x, y, and z.


I don't see this in the same way as the group, I may be missing something, but I think the issues are...

I don't have this perfectly thought out, but something is feeling off for me. Let me try to get the issues out.


I am concerned about X and Y.


For these three reasons, I believe this will move rather than solve the problem.


I think the idea you have proposed works great because of...

9. Confirm Decisions & Assignments

Confirming is a type of summary.  It closes the loop on the conversation yet when stated often brings out something that was missed. You want to state: What was decided and Who does What by When and How will it be done.

In summary, we have decided to go forward with the Alpha initiative. We have also decided that we will stop producing Omega at the end of the year.


John and Marlene own the project plan for the transition. They will provide us the map at our staff meeting the first week of September. They will be contacting each of you indivudally for input into the project plan.

10. Assess Meeting

Take 1 minute to assess your meeting. You may need to choose different questions based on your goals.


1. What will you tell your people we accomplished at this meeting?

2. Did all voices get heard?

3. Did we have the right people in the room?

4. Did we confirm decisions and assignments?

5. What is one thing that would make next meeting even better?

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