Avoid meeting killers. A “killer” would suggest the absence or void of its opposite, a success catalyst. There is no set formula for successful meetings, but there are seven meeting tips that suggest a strong likelihood of successful meetings, listed in alphabetical order below:

Seven Meeting Tips that Increase Your Likelihood of Success

Seven Meeting Tips of Success

  1. Control the Operational Definitions to Prevent Scope Creep:

    Unless your deliverable calls for a definition or scoping boundaries, do not allow arguments about the meaning of terms used in your preparatory materials. If you have prepared a meeting deliverable and agenda, then you need to know the meaning of the terms being used, so do not allow any argument about definitions. Scope creep kills projects, and it kills meetings as well.

  2. Embrace Ground Rules to Ensure On-time Performance:

    The terms “concussion”, “percussion”, and “discussion” are all related. Avoid meeting headaches and get more done faster. You do not have to have ground rules, only if you want to get more done, faster.

  3. Enjoin and Facilitate Argumentation:

    The best return on investment of face-to-face meeting time (and costs) derives from resolving conflict. When two or more people (or teams) disagree, they need facilitation. Arguments are not well solved with text messages, emails, decks of slides, and PDFs.

  4. Focus on the Analytics or Tools that Galvanize Consensus:

    There is more one than tool in all circumstances. Given your participants, constraints, and personal experience, anticipate a tool that may be optimum for your situation. If possible, anticipate a back-up approach as well, if something goes awry with your plan.

  5. Increase the Velocity of Participation:

    Groups are smarter than the smartest person in the group because groups generate more options than individuals alone. Solicit and encourage a multiplicity of input. The human mind is empowered tremendously when it can compare and contrast options to influence decision-making.

  6. Know What Done Looks Like:

    Any leader needs to know where they are going before they take off. The deliverable of your meeting must be made clear before the meeting starts. People can follow someone who knows where they are going. People are reticent to follow someone who does not know where they are going. And meeting participants ALWAYS know the difference.

  7. Prepare a Method or Agenda to Guide the Group:

    Structure yields flexibility. If you create a map for a journey, it is easy to take a detour or scenic route because you know where to go when the temporary path is no longer valuable. Plan your work and work your plan.


    Finally, MG RUSH professional facilitation curriculum focuses on providing methodology. Each student thoroughly practices methodology and tools before class concludes. Some call this immersion. We call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

    Become Part of the Solution While You Improve Your Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology Skills

    Take a class or forward this to someone who should. MG RUSH Professional Facilitation Training provides an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, 40 CDUs from IIBA, and 3.2 CEUs. As a member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), our Professional Facilitation Training aligns with IAF Certification Principles and fully prepares alumni for their Certified Professional Facilitator designation.

    Furthermore, our Professional Facilitation curriculum immerses students in the responsibilities and dynamics of an effective facilitator and methodologist. Because nobody is smarter than everybody, attend an MG RUSH Professional Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology workshop offered around the world, see MG RUSH for a current schedule.

    Go to the Facilitation Training Store to access our in-house resources. You will discover numerous annotated agendas, break timers, and templates. Finally, take a few seconds to buy us a cup of coffee and please SHARE.

    In conclusion, we dare you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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