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The Planning Commission at Work

Making the Most of Your Meeting Time, Parts I & II

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Serving on a planning commission and attending meetings are synonymous. It is hard to do one without the other.

Have you ever thought about how much time you spend in meetings? A conservative estimate is that most of us who work will spend between six and twelve hours per week attending meetings. At this rate, many of us will spend one-fifth to one-third of our total work time in meetings!

Serving on a planning commission and attending meetings are synonymous. It is hard to do one without the other. Accordingly, one way to measure whether or not a planning commission is functioning well is to examine how it spends its meeting time. This column will introduce strategies a commission can follow to minimize "lost" time.

Meeting Ups and Downs

During our planning commission training sessions we spend a considerable amount of time exploring the nature of meetings. One of the more interesting exercises involves having the participants complete the following question: "If our planning commission meetings could talk what might they say?" As you might suspect, this question has generated some very interesting responses. We've had meetings tell us: "I'm happy that's over. I feel good. I've got more to do. What a great meeting. I need a drink. If that happens one more time I'll do something you will regret." Who ever said meetings don't have a sense of humor!

End of excerpt

... article continues with a look at two exercises for determining how effectively you allocate your meeting, followed by a discussion of how to "debrief" a meeting

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