meeting management training

making meetings meaningful

meeting management

How much time do we spend in meetings? And how much time do we waste in meetings? Our time is too valuable, so meetings need to hit the mark.

During this meeting management training course, participants learn skills in managing and facilitating effective meetings. This training course is powerful for participants who run meetings in person or remotely.
  • All staff members who regularly organise and facilitate meetings
  • Full day training course. Half-day or shorter course options available
  • Run at your offices or in a virtual classroom

training goals are to:

  • prepare and manage effective meetings
  • create agendas that help set up productive meetings
  • run meetings that achieve clear objectives
  • manage meeting timing wisely
  • use EQ skills to interact with and involve all participants
  • stay in control of difficult meetings
  • confidently organise and manage virtual meetings.

introduction and workshop overview

Participants will review the agenda and will discuss their objectives. Our facilitator will adapt this meeting management course to the needs of the group and the types of meetings they commonly organise. The following course program is for a full day workshop. Ask us how we can condense the content to a shorter meeting management workshop.

good and bad meetings

We have all been to meetings that are good and those that are awful. Good meetings are professionally managed, everyone has a say and the meeting ends on time with a productive outcome. Bad meetings are painful for a variety of reasons. For example:
  • everyone is talking but nobody is listening
  • the point of the meeting is unclear
  • the discussion goes around in circles and nothing is achieved – even if the meeting has run over time.
Participants will share their experiences of good and bad meetings and discuss the factors that can make a meeting successful or not.

organising meetings

Organising meetings takes thought. Several elements make the organisation of a meeting successful. Participants will learn about having a clear meeting purpose, defining objectives and choosing meeting duration and meeting location.

meeting agendas matter

Agendas are often hastily put together. But they are important for effective meetings. Agendas and particularly timed agendas allow the organiser to clarify the meeting purpose and focus beforehand. This enables the meeting attendees to prepare accordingly or consider whether they need to attend at all.

listening skills in meetings

Effective meetings need active discussions. If the meeting participants have been carefully selected then they will all need to be involved. But how do you engage all the meeting participants? Learning to manage a meeting effectively requires honing listening skills to gather insights. The group will learn how a good meeting facilitator will pay close attention to what meeting attendees are contributing. Participants will learn to paraphrase and keep everyone involved and accountable for the decisions being made.

asking questions as meeting facilitator

As the logical extension of listening, training participants will review how to ask effective questions. Good questioning invites open discussion and includes all meeting participants. Questions have various uses but in meetings questions are mostly used to clarify something, encourage thought or probe an idea or test knowledge. Questioning and listening are key EQ skills participants will learn. Through active listening and questioning participants will be able to respectfully promote active discussion amongst all invitees, while at the same time achieving meeting objectives.

how to manage difficult meeting situations with EQ

Sometimes meetings get sticky. There are difficult meeting situations, such as a participant hijacking the meeting, unpleasant disagreement, nothing is being achieved or the agenda is ignored. In this part of the meeting management training the participants will discuss how they can use EQ skills to get the meeting back on track and how they can diplomatically stop disruptive behaviours from others.

managing virtual meetings

Nowadays many meetings are held remotely using Teams, Zoom, Webex etc. Many of the skills covered so far are applicable to face-to-face meetings as well as virtual meetings. However, the group will explore the differences. Some of the differences between a virtual meeting and a face-to-face meeting are positive, such as the ability to meet with people who are geographically located in different places. Nevertheless, there are some challenges, such as technical issues, distractions and ensuring full focus and participation by all meeting attendees. During this session the group will learn how to deal with, plan for and overcome some of these challenges to make virtual meetings as effective – and enjoyable – as possible.

action plan

The most important thing about this meeting management training course is putting learnt skills into practice. The participants will therefore work on an action plan during the course. Participants write down what aspects of meeting facilitation they need to work on for the meetings they have already planned or that they foresee coming up. With the skills they gain, they will feel confident about arranging their next meeting.

why is EQ important for managing meetings?

Leading a meeting with emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) will make for a happy and productive meeting. Being considerate and respectful of who is invited so as not to waste people’s time is the first step. Continuing the respectful tone of listening to all meeting attendees and sticking to the agenda and timing also shows consideration. 

Participants will learn how it is valuable to listen to what is being said and to what is not being said. This requires emotional intelligence as does knowing when and how to ask questions or politely interrupt.

EQ is also important for being sensitive to people’s motivators and what they want the meeting to achieve. Additionally, being aware of how the discussion is making them feel, even if they do not express their thoughts, requires EQ skills. The role of the meeting facilitator is in fact a tricky one, where the facilitator needs to contribute, support, redirect and challenge.

Seemingly paradoxically, the most productive meetings are the ones that feature conflict. However, it needs to be constructive conflict. People with conflicting views need the opportunity to be truly listened to. Managing constructive conflict in a meeting requires strong emotional intelligence skills from the meeting facilitator. This meeting management course from trainEQ builds exactly those EI skills.

“Meetings without an agenda are like a restaurant without a menu.”

-Susan B. Wilson

Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) - the capability of individuals to recognise and manage their emotions and those of others.

Being aware of the concept of EQ and then developing it is essential for employees, regardless of their role. High EQ is no longer an add-on but a ‘must-have.’