We are very excited to start this series in which we will briefly discuss what topics were covered on the latest NCHRA meetings.  We hope that this is not only a resource for learning, but also an opportunity for you to get acquainted with what the NCHRA offers its members regarding education and events in the HR space.

At the last NCHRA meeting on May 21st, Sheila Dundon, SPHR, SCP and president and Founder of the Priority Leadership Group discussed the importance of having well structured and clearly defined meetings.  “Sheila is an organizational strategist, human resources consultant, facilitator, and executive coach.”  Her dynamic presentation and engaging subject matter made for a delightful evening of learning and participant interaction.

How much does it cost to have a meeting? How many hours in salaries are we spending in order to have that one meeting?  What if nothing really gets accomplished in the meeting?  How much more money and resources will have to be spent in order to have a follow up meeting? These were all questions posed by Sheila on her presentation.  We often think of meetings as something that may not cost much since for the most part they happen in-house or via teleconference.  However, we don’t really think about the amount of money spent in salaries in order to have this group of people meet.  But lets say that we do consider the amount of money we are spending in order to have these meetings.  What do we do then?  How do we make sure that the time spent in these meetings give us the most return on our investment?  What do we do with that one guy who loves talking about what his department is doing even though it has nothing to do with the meeting’s topic?  How do we make sure the meeting is worth having at all?  Sheila has the answer for you!  The trick is to have structure!

Sheila has created an easy to use guide to an efficient meeting.  In her presentation she gave great insights and examples regarding each step to follow in order to have a successful meeting.  Here is an abbreviated sample of Sheila’s steps to a successful meeting:


Is it worth having a meeting?  Can consensus be reached via email, one on one conversations, or memos?  What are the pros and cons to having the meeting?


It is imperative to clearly understand what the purpose of the meeting is and how we are going to achieve the meeting’s goals.  Sheila recommends using the 5 Ws.

  • Where the meeting is going to be held
  • Who should attend
  • When this meeting will start and finish
  • Why the meeting is being held
  • What the meeting will address


Meetings must start on time, there should be a chairperson appointed who is impartial to run the meeting, every individual should be allowed to contribute without interruptions, one person should talk at one time, and the chairperson can call a halt to the discussion on any issue at any time.


Note taking should be emphasized when running a successful meeting.  Sheila advises to have a scribe present that can write notes on a board, preferably in two or three colors in order to be able to clearly see the notes and action items.


Every meeting should be closed by going over the notes recorded over the meeting in a concise way.  Sheila advises against drifting off topic into not clearly defined meeting notes.  More importantly, all meetings should be closed by coming up with action items.


Any successful meeting should end with action items.  Sheila recommends using the following format to create effective action items.

  • Who (is responsible)?
  • What (is to be done)?
  • How (is the action to be carried out)?
  • When is the action to be completed?

Needless to say, this is a very abbreviated version of Sheila’s engaging presentation.  The phrase “you had to be there” does fit in regarding the presentation’s awesomeness.

We hope you can join us for the next NCHRA meeting.  We will be posting any upcoming dates to these events.

For more information about Sheila Dundon and Priority Leadership Group please visit www.priorityleadershipgroup.com or check out her NCHRA intro here!
For more information about the NCHRA please visit www.nchra.org