It is usually a lot faster to describe engineering problems graphically than verbally, but for some reasons many meetings don’t make use of this.

If people are struggling to reach a common understanding about something then a meeting can drag on forever. Even if you aren’t directly involved in the conversation the solution is to jump up, grab a pen and draw your understanding of the issue on a convenient whiteboard. “Is this what you mean, Fred?” Even if you are wrong, the picture will give a focus for the discussion, people will draw their corrections and the discussion will move forwards.

Take a photo of the whiteboard with your phone at the end of the meeting and you’ll have a convenient timestamped record.