Meetings consume a big part of our lives at work. However, a vast majority of meetings fail to deliver an acceptable return on the time and energy that gets invested. 

Why is this so? I believe there are 3 contributing factors:

1. Poor quality of CHAIRING

2. Ineffective PARTICIPATION

3. Sub-optimal ENVIRONMENT

In this post, I touch on the subject of chairing. 

Being an effective chair is first and foremost about the mind-set that you have as a chair. This is because your mind-set drives your actions, which in turn determines the overall effectiveness of your meeting. 

To be a powerful chair, I suggest you consider adopting the following 7 beliefs (translates into an acronym of RAPS-CAG): 


Whilst there are many elements that need to come together to make a successful meeting, I take 100% responsibility for orchestrating a successful meeting. 


I recognise that people are busy and their time is valuable. I also believe that people have choices, and in choosing to be at the meeting, they are probably saying “No” to other things. I therefore appreciate their presence and contribution.  

3. Belief of PREPARATION

All good creations require a degree of planning and preparation. I will therefore invest the necessary time, effort and energy to plan and be fully prepared to chair the meeting effectively. 

4. Belief of SAFETY 

I believe everyone has the right and need to be heard in a meeting. I also know it is unlikely that people will open up fully unless it is relatively safe to do so. As a chair I’m in a privileged position to orchestrate a safe environment and proactively encourage contributions from everyone.  


I believe that to get the best thinking and ideas on the table, it is critical to harness the diverse view-points in the room. And to do this, it often requires a degree of constructive conflict. I will value the need for constructive conflict above my need to be liked.  

6. Belief of ADAPTABILITY 

Whilst I believe that planning is essential, it is equally important to be fully present to what’s happening in the meeting. I will therefore adapt and be flexible as necessary, all in the service of fulfilling the overarching purpose of the meeting.

7. Belief of GETTING BETTER  

The only way to get better is to keep calibrating what’s working well, so you can enhance that, and what’s not working well, so you can find a way to make it better. I will therefore create opportunities during the meeting to check-in with what’s working well and what could be improved. I will continually evolve my thinking and skill set to be a more effective chair. 

Would love to hear about your experiences – please share in the “comments” section below.