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Harv's Etiquette for Meetings

8 ways to make the most of time together

Every leader spends a great deal of time in meetings. Phyllis Ten Elshof, former editor of Your Church magazine, and current editor of CTI Resources, offers essential but often overlooked fundamentals to make meetings successful. You may find this a helpful column to share with ministry leaders that you're training.

My first board meeting was a disaster.

Having been an eager participant in discussion, I thought the session had gone well. So when my supervisor later reprimanded me for improper conduct, I was shocked. His curt explanation "You talked too much" didn't clarify matters. What was I supposed to do—be a silent observer?

Meetings that followed only confused the issue. Finally I turned to an old mentor for help. Harv gave me advice that helped chart my course through meetings that followed—both at work and at church. Here are a few fundamentals for effective meetings:


Panicked paper shuffling, tardiness, and/or missing necessities (pen, note paper, etc.) ...

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