Ever wonder why your group can't have more productive meetings? Perhaps you're suffering from the dreaded "meeting disease"! Take this quiz to find out if your group has Meeting Myopia and learn how to overcome it.

1. Are you well-prepared for your meetings?
A. We don't use preparation materials, such as an agenda, and we don't really have a need for them.
B. Although we receive preparation materials, such as an agenda, we don't spend much time reading them or mentally preparing for the meeting.
C. We read the preparation materials and spend some time preparing what we want to say during the meeting.

2. Are you using agendas effectively?
A. The meeting chairperson may have an agenda, but we don't use it during the meeting.
B. An agenda is available for everyone to see, but it's not closely followed.
C. We follow an agenda closely. Usually our meetings are well-focused.

3. Do you have a record of the information generated in your meetings?
A. We rarely record meeting information.
B. All attendees are responsible for their own notes, or we assign one person to take notes for the group.
C. We have one set of notes that's visible to everyone and to which all participants contribute.

4. How do you keep meeting participants focused?
A. Participants are responsible for paying attention to what's going on.
B. We often have handouts, and people use overheads or slides to provide focus.
C. We use multimedia materials with a data projector to try to eliminate meeting boredom.

5. How do you generate new ideas?
A. Topics are brought up in a meeting for everyone to consider, then we might meet again or e-mail our ideas after the meeting.
B. Topics are brought up in a meeting and we share our ideas at that time. We keep a record of all good ideas.
C. We have brainstorming meetings to which we come prepared with initial thoughts, and during the meeting we record all ideas and build on them.

6. Are you making the best possible decisions?
A. A decision-maker selects an alternative provided by the group.
B. The group generates alternatives; the decision maker selects a few; and then we vote.
C. The group generates alternatives, and then works towards a consensus or compromise.

7. Are action items being completed?
A. Since each person knows his role best, it's his responsibility to implement any tasks that come up as a result of meeting discussions.
B. We discuss necessary tasks or assignments but have no set follow-up procedure.
C. We assign responsibilities, distribute an action item list and follow up on the progress of each task.

8. Is the meeting information available for meeting participants and others after the meeting?
A. We're all responsible for our own information needs. If we want meeting notes, we either take them ourselves or seek them out from another source.
B. Someone usually processes meeting information, but it can be days or weeks before it's available.
C. We make a point of ensuring that accurate meeting information is archived quickly to a computer file and made accessible to those who need it.

9. Can you access the information resources you need to get the job done?
A. If we need information that isn't available in the meeting room, we carry on without it as best we can.
B. If we need information that isn't available in the meeting room, we usually put the topic aside and address it in a future meeting.
C. We have access to a number of information sources in our meeting room to satisfy those instances when additional information could produce a better outcome.

Read meeting dilemmas solved by the Meeting Guru.


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