Holding a Productive Meeting

Sad to say, this is the time of the year for meetings.


Sad to say, this is the time of the year for meetings. I know that I have a number to attend every week for the next few weeks. Organizations need to come together from time to time, in order to set a course for the future. Whether it is a meeting of the whole organization, or some form of committee or subcommittee the need really does exist for meetings.

I am sure that each of us has attended our fair share of meetings during our time in the fire service. Some of them were important, many were not. How many of you out there across North America have ever sat at a meeting, studying the lines on a yellow legal pad and wondering, "Why in the world did anyone ever have to call this meeting? What a waste of time!!" "Look at those spider webs over there in the corner of the ceiling!!"

As we all should know by now, the written word can only do so much. While we would like to use this column to cure the common cold, evil in the world, and human hunger, we cannot. However, what we might be able to accomplish with this column is to assist YOU in avoiding the bricks, boulders and bovine by-products hurled by others at you for running a lousy meeting.

Many times we face anger, frustration, and stress because of our organizational propensity for scheduling dull, stupid, useless, wasteful, unproductive meetings. We will always have to hold meetings. This is a fact of life in a civilized society. But they don