From Painful to Productive

This is a short book. It was intended to be a short book. Who in their right mind would want to read a long book about meetings!! Unless of course you are in a meeting right now, reading this book to take your mind off the pain of sitting here. If that’s what you’re doing, there’s plenty of white space included so you can illustrate (a.k.a. doodle) this book on your own.

What you do need however is a short book on meetings that has a long-term effect on both your effectiveness and your morale.  If you and your colleagues can agree on nothing else, you will probably be unanimous in your feelings about meetings.  There is hardly any other organizational function that brings about more frustration and personal agony than looking at a calendar and seeing that there is a meeting on the schedule.  It gets even worse if there are multiple meetings which, of course, there almost always are…

The following tips are designed to help you turn your meetings from unproductive and annoying time-wasters to truly successful and exciting (yes, exciting!) communication opportunities. If 46 different ideas to improve your meetings are intimidating, remember that you do not have to implement all the tips included in this booklet. You should identify those tips that have the greatest potential impact and implement those first.

Try just a few of these suggestions and you will see immediate improvement in the satisfaction of participants and the overall outcome of your meetings.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. High Impact Meetings
  3. Forming an Agenda
  4. Before the Meeting Begins
  5. Offsite Meetings
  6. During the Meeting
  7. Closing and Following Up
  8. Checklist

About the Author

Dr. Todd Thomas is an author, speaker, educator and coach with over 25 years in corporate and academic experience. Todd has worked with over 3000 leaders in over 20 countries to help them become more effective in achieving their objectives. A frequent speaker, he is also an Associate Professor and Lead Faculty for Leadership at the DeVos Graduate School of Management, Northwood University, in Midland, Michigan, USA. You can follow his blog and other activities at

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