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The Secrets to Masterful Meetings: Ignite a Meetings Revolution! [Paperback]

Michael Wilkinson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 25, 2005 0972245804 978-0972245807

“That was an awful meeting. What a waste of my time!”

How often have you had this same thought? Why do we tolerate bad meetings? Consider the last meeting you attended that was run by someone else. How many of these pitfalls were evident?

  • Did not start on time.
  • Missing key people.
  • Lacked a clear purpose.
  • No agenda.
  • Few people engaged.
  • Discussion wandered, repeatedly.
  • Key issues were not addressed.
  • No decisions made.
  • No follow-up actions.
  • The meeting was not worth the time.

Have we lowered the bar so far that bad meetings have become the norm? Enough is enough. It is time to ignite a meetings revolution.

How Do You Transform a Bad Meeting Culture?

In The Secrets to Masterful Meetings, Michael Wilkinson provides leaders with a step-by-step guide for igniting a meetings revolution. The result: a complete culture transformation in which bad meetings become unacceptable! This book supplies a step-by-step guide for igniting and sustaining a meetings revolution which, if successful, will permanently change the way meetings are run in an organization. In his book, Wilkinson recommends that executives empower their people with a set of meeting rights. He then provides a comprehensive meetings transformation program that equips meeting leaders and meeting participants with tools for masterful meetings.

What this Book Contains

  • 10 Meeting Rights to empower every participant.
  • 10 steps to transform your meeting culture.
  • 15 meeting problems and how to address them.
  • 4 strategies for eliminating unneeded meetings.
  • 6 tips for getting meetings started on time.
  • 3 robust tools for resolving disagreements.
  • 4 techniques for rescuing poorly run meetings.
  • 14 strategies for maximizing virtual meetings.
  • 6 agendas to use to gain the results you want.
  • 4 checklists for executing Masterful Meetings.
  • And much more.

Give Yourself a Gift

Give a copy of this book to everyone whose meetings you attend: a gift that truly keeps on giving!


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The Secrets to Masterful Meetings: Ignite a Meetings Revolution! + The Executive Guide to Facilitating Strategy
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Where Death by Meetings ends, The Secrets to Masterful Meetings begins. Wilkinson provides readers with the detail steps for implementing a number of the concepts covered by Patrick Lencioni in Death by Meetings. Wilkinson details strategies for engaging in productive conflict and provides proven methods for reaching agreement. The sample agendas include the multiple meeting types Lencioni outlines. The Secrets to Masterful Meetings also covers numerous strategies for eliminating unnecessary meetings, getting the right people in the meeting, starting the meeting on time, maintaining focus, and ensuring results.

About the Author

Michael Wilkinson is Managing Director of Leadership Strategies—The Facilitation Company, an organization that specializes in training in facilitation, consulting, leadership, and meeting skills. Leadership Strategies also provides professional facilitators around the world to help organizations with strategic planning, issue resolution, focus groups, and a variety of other processes.

Michael is a leader in the facilitation industry. He is the author of The Secrets of Facilitation and The Secrets to Masterful Meetings, founder of the National Facilitator Database, and serves on the board of the National Institute for Facilitation. He was one of the first five Certified Professional Facilitators in North America and has been subsequently awarded the prestigious Certified Master Facilitator designation. In 2003, the Southeast Association of Facilitators named him Facilitator of the Year for his achievements and contributions to the field.

He is a much sought-after facilitator, trainer, and speaker, nationally as well as internationally, having completed international assignments in Bangkok, Brisbane, Glasgow, Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, Milan, Singapore, and Sydney. He has worked with hundreds of public and private sector organizations, including The Coca-Cola Company, KPMG Peat Marwick, the Centers for Disease Control, and the United Way of America.

Prior to his current post, he was a Senior Manager in Ernst & Young's Management Consulting Group. As an accomplished information technology consultant, he was selected by the Governor of his state to serve for two terms on the Governor’s twelve-member Information Technology Policy Council.

Michael resides in Atlanta with his wife and two children.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Leadership Strategies Publishing (November 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972245804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972245807
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Here is the background information we give to the media!

Michael Wilkinson, author of The Secrets of Facilitation ' The SMART Guide to Getting Results with Groups, is one of the nation's leaders in the facilitation industry. He is a Board member of the National Institute for Facilitation (nifac.org) and founder of the National Facilitator Database (NFDB.com). He has been awarded both the Certified Professional Facilitator and the Certified Master Facilitator designations for experience and demonstrated expertise in facilitation. In December, 2003 he was named Facilitator of the Year by the Southeast Association of Facilitators (www.seaf.org) for contributions to the field.

Michael is founder and Managing Director for Leadership Strategies ' The Facilitation Company (www.leadstrat.com). His firm is the east coast leader in facilitator training and specializes in providing organizations with professional facilitators to lead executive retreats and task forces through strategic planning, process improvement, information needs analysis, and issue resolution.

Michael is a much sought after facilitator, trainer and speaker, both in the U.S. and around the globe. He has completed international assignments in Bangkok, Brisbane, Glasgow, Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, Milan, Singapore, Sydney and New Zealand.

His client experience covers a wide range of public and private sector organizations, including The Coca-Cola Company, Sears, Unisys, KPMG Peat Marwick, Storehouse Furniture, the City of Atlanta, Families First, the American Cancer Society and the United Way of America.
Prior to Leadership Strategies, Mr. Wilkinson spent eight years in the information technology practice of Ernst & Young's Management Consulting Group. He has been a certified data processor and was selected by the Governor of Georgia to serve for three terms on his twelve-member Information Technology Policy Council.

Michael's life is a storybook example of the positive results of affirmation action. Born in Washington, DC, he spent his early years living in a government housing project. As one of six children, he and his brothers and sisters worked odd jobs from an early age to help supplement the family's very modest income. While a newspaper carrier, he received a scholarship through the help of the Washington Post to attend St. Mark's School, an exclusive New England preparatory school. The academic environment was much more challenging for him, as indicated by his early grades. However, within three years, he was rated in the top quartile of his class. As a senior, he was named a National Merit Scholar and awarded a grant by the UPS Foundation to attend Dartmouth College.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Up front, we all know that there are no secrets to having productive meetings. They are:

*) Have an agenda of action items that was created and agreed on before the meeting.

*) Start on time and allow for a few initial minutes for greetings and other small pleasantries. Allow a little more time if refreshments are available.

*) Stay on track, follow the agenda. If it becomes clear that it is necessary to have more extensive discussions about an item that is off the agenda, then delay that discussion if possible.

*) Allow for as open a discussion as possible, there should be no fear of recrimination in anyone.

*) Keep the talks professional, avoid personal statements like, "you are so negative."

*) Keep the discussion from being dominated by a small number of people, everyone is given the chance to speak, even if it is just to say, "I have nothing to contribute on this point."

*) Keep it as short as possible, but no shorter. Always have a fairly firm ending time.

In other words, have a set of rules and follow them. Wilkinson puts forward a set of reasonable and effective rules and if followed, would lead to a dramatic increase in the efficiency of meetings.

Unfortunately, the real key to increasing efficiency is not in setting the rules, but in sticking to them. Nearly everyone knows what needs to be done to conduct effective meetings but has participated in unproductive ones. In some cases, it is due to a lack of courage, where people are afraid to speak up for fear of reprisals. The world is full of people who encourage others to speak up and then react negatively when what they are told is contrary to what they wanted to hear. People are also emotional and when agitated, will not follow the script.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
As a professor, many working students tell me that they have little time for their part-time studies because their job keeps them so busy. To help them improve, I ask each person to write down for two weeks how she or he spends time 24/7, including both work and personal time.

Invariably, the person reports back that he or she spends 15-25 hours a week in meetings . . . and has to work late every night to get "regular" work done. After we spend some time looking into those meetings, students are usually able to reduce those hours to 5-10 a week. The remaining time then becomes available for their personal studies.

So while you may think that your organization will be the big beneficiary if you lead and participate in better meetings, actually you will be the big winner. Your personal time will expand while your stress will decline.

I've been a student of good meeting practices for over 35 years and am often hired to facilitate difficult meetings, such as strategy development sessions. In all of those years, I do not recall seeing a book that more effectively captures and explains the key practices that work than The Secrets of Masterful Meetings. Employing this book will give you helpful lessons that it would take you at least 20 years to learn on your own.

My advice is to get this book, share it with everyone you work with and apply its excellent recommendations.

Let me explain what this book contains.

The book builds on the excellent principle that everyone has a stake in better meetings. Set rules and rights for better meetings, and everyone will benefit. What's more, everyone will help enforce helpful practices. The book opens with a list of rights that your organization might choose to employ for this purpose.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Superbly Written and Designed Manual At Last! April 11, 2006
Format:Paperback
Probably all of us have been victims to those corporate or even small business 'energizing seminars' where an outsider addresses the members present on how to improve productivity, how to be a team player, and how to remain goal oriented in the work force. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ These forays into business psycholgy succeed or fail dependent on the manner in which the seminar is conducted: if the information is terrific but the presentation is flatline, the time is wasted all the way around.

If only we had this book earlier! Author Michael Wilkinson is a CEO for Leadership Strategies, The Facilitation Company, and not only is he a zippy writer who knows how to engage his readers, he also is a straightforward, no nonsense facilitator who has studied the problems of the unsuccessful meetings we all have suffered and in this small book he outlines the pitfalls of meeting strategy, the reasons most meetings fail to accomplish their missions, and, most important, he gives us tables and practices on how to make every meeting no matter how small or how large result in success. But that is all outlined on the Amazon.com product page.

Sound like the impossible mission? Buy this book, read it quickly so that you buy into his approach, then read it leisurely and try his suggestions for planning your next meeting. Wilkinson knows his business and knows how to communicate his ideas. This is a fine source book that promises to revolutionize the effective meeting - and he makes it all so practical and user-friendly. An excellent adjunct to anyone in charge of meetings - or for those who routinely attend bad meetings, slip this affordable paperback under your boss's door! Grady Harp, April 06
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