Meetings are largely perceived as boring, lengthy and largely unproductive but it does not have to be this way.  Asking the right types of questions can prove extremely useful for obtaining insight, encouraging introspection and making decisions that progress a project, department or the entire organization forward.

Before you begin to think about the specific questions, make sure they are all open-ended. Open-ended questions are ideal because they are exploratory in nature and drive the sharing of information. You can learn much more from this type of question than you can from close-ended ones.

73 percent of people multi-task during meetings, speaking to their sense of disengagement. (1) Open-ended questions offer a solution to distracted attendees by making them feel like they are truly a valued contributor to the discussion rather than a passive observer, improving employee engagement and letting them know their input will be heard.

Certain types of open-ended questions will lead to more effective meetings. Keep reading to learn more.

Questions Meeting Officiants Ask Themselves 

The meeting officiant must ensure they are staying on-topic and steering the meeting in the right direction. That said, meeting agendas do not have to be set in stone. If the conversation detours in a direction that could yield insights, it is acceptable to go with the flow as long as it shows promise of productivity and relates to the topic at hand.

The following questions will aid in keeping meetings on track:

  • Is the discussion remaining focused on the topic at hand?
  • Are all attendees actively engaged in the meeting?
  • Have all attendees been given the opportunity to express their concerns or share their insights?
  • How many of the goals set for the meeting does it look like we will achieve?

Questions Meeting Officiants Ask Attendees 

There are a slew of open-ended questions that meeting officiants can ask attendees to maximize the productivity of the meeting. Remember, even if the meeting is instructional in nature, attendees should still get the floor to provide feedback or ask questions. They may have a different perspective that shines a light on areas of weakness that were overlooked or come up with a great idea about how to improve a process or issue.

Plus, you always want your employees to feel like they can ask questions, voice concerns and get clarification on anything that may confuse them. Asking the following open-ended questions will help ensure all of the above:

  • What are your key takeaways from the meeting?
  • What are some of the strengths and weaknesses you feel you or your team has with regards to ….?
  • How do you feel about your ability to execute what we have discussed?
  • What kind of challenges or roadblocks do you think you face in completing …?
  • What are your concerns about executing ……?
  • What kind of resources do you need to accomplish your goals?
  • What kind of support can your manager provide to aid you in successfully completing ….?

Asking open-ended questions is one of the most effective ways to tap into the enormous potential meetings offer your organization. By posing the right questions, you lay the foundation for a meeting that is productive and positions your staff to achieve the goals set forth during it.

For more information about how Gavel International can help your organization hold highly productive meetings that accomplish your business goals, contact us.





Jim Bozzelli