Thursday, 7 October 2010

Putting the 'T' into faculty

Well, the faculty meeting took place this evening ... and for once it took less than thirty minutes!

The Head of Faculty had been to a training session about how to run a meeting ... and took what she had been taught to heart. We were all told that if we felt that one of the other people there was either taking too long to get to the point, or was wandering off at a tangent, all we had to do was to make the 'timeout' sign with our hands, and they had to stop.

It worked!

One attendee started to talk about an agenda item, and almost immediately began one of their long and – if past experience is to go on – irrelevant anecdotes. Within seconds, a forest of hands was making the 'T' sign and they had to stop. So rather than spending an hour discussing items that should have only taken us ten minutes to ponder over, we got lot more done in less time.


  1. Nice idea! When I started my job, the weekly planning meeting would often run 2 hours, but most of it was discussion that involved only 2-3 people out of 6 or more, and even then it tended to be the same things every week. When I took over these meetings, I had people discuss these things outside the meeting time with just those involved, and we only covered the administrative and "need to know" topics that required attention of the whole group.
    Meeting times dropped to about 20 minutes. One person complained, but nobody wanted to go back to 2 hour meetings.

  2. EastwoodDC,

    Of all the ideas I have heard about for improving meetings by making sure that people kept to the point, this is by far the best ... and it works.

    There are some people whose working lives seem to be defined by meeting. I am not one of them!

    All the best,