Find the three secrets with this…

22nd August 2017

What three things are wrong with this agenda?

         Update meeting

  • Discuss Project X
  • Update on Initiative Y
  • Review Strategy Z
  • Any other business

Before you read on, two more quick questions:

  1. Have you got your three yet? If not, get them before you read on!
  2. Does this agenda look like the ones you see at work? If so, this Tip is about to be very helpful

Here they are…

#1 Use ‘Actions arising’, not ‘Any other business’

Meetings are supposed to cause things to happen. That’s why you have them.

So your final agenda item should always be ‘Actions arising’. That way, there’ll be some.

When you end with ‘Any other business’, that just says ‘let’s talk about more stuff’. So people do.

#2 Include your main objective in the meeting’s title

A meeting’s title sets the tone for the whole thing.

This one’s called ‘Update meeting’. So everybody rocks up, expecting to be updated.

However, if you call it ‘Meeting to agree priorities and actions with XYZ’, people turn up knowing they’re about to be clearer on priorities and actions.

#3 Use output verbs

The agenda used input verbs – the things we’ll be putting in discuss, update and review.

But the trouble with these inputs is – what’s the output? How do you know you’ve finished it? I don’t know the end-point of ‘discuss’ – do you?

So, instead, use output verbs. This will probably be one of the two As – actions or agreement.

Putting everything together

So, here’s how the agenda would now read:

          Meeting to agree priorities and actions with X, Y and Z

  • Agree the way forward with Project X
  • Allocate actions to accelerate Initiative Y
  • Agree our priorities with Strategy Z for next month
  • Actions arising

Compare that to the agenda at the top.

Which would you rather attend?

Action point

Three actions:

  • For your next meeting, change the agenda to improve the title, agenda items and actions arising
  • To improve your ‘verbal introductions’ when networking, watch this free video showing how to work a room
  • I’m speaking at the UK’s largest sales conference in November (there’s a great speaker line-up, including Sir Clive Woodward). Fancy coming along?

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