Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
Andrew Palmer
Group Editor
5:00 AM 5th October 2020

How To Run Meetings That Make Things Happen

We all know them don’t we?

As we first walk into that meeting room, look up and down at the sea of faces, we know before we have even taken our seat who the disruptors, introverts and the extroverts are.

Everything you wanted to know on how to conduct meetings is contained in this small 67 page book, which is clearly laid out with good illustrations and Jon Baker has a nice style.

The book was written whilst we were all on lockdown and so it tackles how to run virtual meetings.

Jon Baker’s motivation in writing Running meetings that make things happen was because of the way communication and business culture work together leading many businesses to lose up to a third of their productivity.

Author Jon Baker
Author Jon Baker
So, we are offered ways of changing the way we hold meetings to improve productivity.

Along the way we find out ways to deal with extroverts to harness their ideas and how to engage with the introverts.

We learn that introverts don’t like to verbalise their thoughts and they are no more, or less, likely to lack confidence than extroverts. Introverts will want to make their point. However, they are less likely to bother doing this if it’s perceived (by them) as irrelevant or

The most common reasons for meetings to go wrong range from the obvious - being badly prepared and unfocused, to rewarding bad behaviours e.g. many meetings reward those who come out with the quickest answer.

"Walk around a typical, open plan, modern office and you'll see several meeting rooms of varying sizes... Meetings are a large part of modern business..."

As we all know facilitation of meetings is a crucial skill and Jon Baker gives us his top ten tips for effective meeting facilitation.

As a communications coach helping people prepare to give speeches, presentations and pitches, as well as working on individual gravitas, I was pleased to see that the author picks up on active listening, but I would have liked to see more on non-verbal (body language) techniques.

However, like good speakers, who know the ending of their presentations are more important than the middle because it gets remembered and strongly influences follow up action, likewise, ending a meeting with a clear summary of actions helps the group focus on next steps.

On Groupthink Jon Baker says: "One of the the dangers of team based decision making is groupthink. Groupthink occurs when the team don't take on board diverse views and only consider one view."

Getting delegates to tell everybody else their actions is also more effective than you telling them what to do.

A good little book, easily digestible that will challenge the way you think about meetings in the future and most definitely give you the confidence to try out different techniques and raise productivity.

To find our more about Jon's book visit

To find out more about the Gravitas Matrix visit