Effective Meetings


CfLI offers one-on-one advising for student organizations looking to improve their organizational meetings. Please contact the Center for Leadership & Involvement for more information.


Five P’s of Effective Meetings

Cameron, Kim and Whetten, David. Developing Management Skills. 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2004. 584-589.

  1. Purpose
    • Why is the meeting being held?
      • Make Decisions
      • Brainstorming
      • Don’t hold a meeting only to make announcements!
    • A meeting shouldn’t be held if:
      • Key people are missing
      • Information can be transmitted through e-mail or phone
      • People are not prepared
  2. Participants
  3. Planning
    • Make an agenda
      • Should be available to participants one-half of the time interval between meetings
        • Ex: if you have meetings every two weeks, an agenda should be sent out one week before the upcoming meeting
      • A sample agenda can be found here
  4. Participation
    • How will individuals be involved in the meeting?
      • Provide Instructions
        • Introduce meeting participants to each other
      • Establish Ground Rules
        • Communicate the amount of participation expected
        • Communicate what variations from the agenda will be tolerated
      • Establish Decision Rules
        • Communicate how decisions will be decided upon (for example: Majority vote vs. Consensus)
  5. Perspective
    • Evaluate the meeting
      • Take an anonymous survey asking specific questions
        • Ex: “what did you like best” or “what would you like to see included in the next meeting”

What if the Five P’s aren’t working?

  • Running effective meetings takes practice, so don’t become discouraged if meetings aren’t as successful as hoped