Let’s Meet!

Tips For A Successful Meeting from How To Succeed At 7 Highly Effective Top Level Managerial Habits (Gale & Hoover, 2015)

-Create a detailed meeting agenda. Send it out at least one day in advance of the meeting.

-Expect everyone to arrive on time.

-Remain focused on the agenda topics.

-Use a timer to keep the group focused on agenda items for the appropriate amount of time.

-Assign a note taker, preferably someone who can write.

-Prepare a seating chart based on astrological signs.

-Avoid distractions by making everyone wear a blindfold.

-Have an orchestra ready to play off anyone who goes on too long.

-Fire tranquilizer darts at anyone who whispers.

-Limit the scope of the meeting.

-Use paper for handouts and copies, not Silly Putty™.

-Require that all responses be phrased in the form of a question.

-Don’t tell Kevin about the meeting.

-Command people’s attention by making presentations in Sumerian.

-No one can speak without holding the bicycle pump that for your own personal reasons you call “Jimmykins”.

-It wouldn’t kill you to put out some chips or something, would it?

-Before moving on to the next item on the agenda remind everyone that the universe is expanding and that all matter will eventually dissipate, leaving a cold, empty void.

-Tell me more about your mother.

-Take that finger out of your ear.

-Take that finger out of the ear of the person next to you.

-Avoid negativity. Begin all suggestions with, “Stop me if you’ve heard this one…”

-Whatever happened to clipart? It’s like that stuff was on everything in the ‘90’s.

-No one knows why the one chair is painted yellow.

-Have some card tricks ready in case people get restless.

-Conclude meetings with a dramatic flourish. Take off your mask and yell “It was me all along!”

-Set a time for the next meeting. Aim for consensus by suggesting never.

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  1. Bookstooge

    I don’t know, that sounds like most meetings I was unfortunate enough to have to attend. Well, except for the “jimmykins” pump…

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      These meeting tips have probably already gotten around. After all I’m sure the meeting runners have all read How To Succeed At 7 Highly Effective Top Level Managerial Habits .

  2. Paula Craft

    Great tips. I will use several of them in my next meeting.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I hope they make the meetings somewhat enjoyable.

  3. Allison

    I was in a meeting yesterday where we all mentioned our Zodiac sign. A lot of Cancer at that table. And Gemini, Virgo and Aries. One Sagittarius. I’m a Scorpio.

    A sign that we were off track…

    It was an all day meeting, Jimmykins.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Interesting that there was a lot of Cancer at the table. A friend of mine used to joke, “I’m a Cancer, sign of the crab. I’m two diseases nobody wants!” The best meetings are the ones that get off track, though.

  4. mydangblog

    WE NEVER tell Kevin about the meetings. Also, this is the funniest thing I’ve read in ages–I would give anything for an orchestra to play off certain ones of my colleagues. And you know, if anyone is wearing a mask, it’s going to be me!
    mydangblog recently posted…My Week 247: The Porn FloorMy Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Now you’ve given me a great idea: an orchestra for hire for meetings. Now we just need to figure out the signal for them to start playing.

  5. Arionis

    Haha! Laughed my ass off at these while at the same time remembering them for my next meeting. Don’t worry. I won’t tell Kevin.
    Arionis recently posted…642 Things To Write About – 5/642My Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      One of these days I’m going to meet Kevin and regret all the things I’ve said. And I don’t think any of it is online but John Cleese did a series of business videos including one called “More Bloody Meetings” which the place where I worked actually purchased. It’s funny and informative if you can find it.

  6. Ann Koplow

    I’m happy to say that (1) I don’t follow any of these rules when I lead my monthly board meetings and (2) I’d follow you anywhere, Chris.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Something tells me that when you run meetings you break all the rules, but in a way that makes the meetings better.

  7. Tom

    I get the 4th seat from the left! It’s not far-fetched at all to say that I tend to be the Cancer at these meetings. 😉

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m a little envious of you being a Cancer, since, if you were in Spinal Tap and if they went ahead with the plan to put on astrological costumes…well, you’d look pretty cool.


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