Tips for More Productive Meetings

A few basic principles for good meetings, but remember, dont have meetings just to have a meetings! Meetings take a lot of time away from people, make sure to make sure this time well spent, and necessary, before sending out that meeting invite.

  • Meet only to support a decision that has already been made; do not use the meetings to make decisions
  • The meeting should always produce a committed action plan
  • A meeting should never be held for informational purposes
  • Have an agenda, and distribute it in advance with relevant information
  • Always start the meeting on time, regardless of people who are late
  • Do not review the contents of the meeting with the people who are late for the part they missed
  • Reduce the length of meetings to one hour maximum, and preferably less—try 30 minutes, even try 15 or 10 minutes
  • End the meeting on the agreed-upon time, even if the agenda is not finished
  • Boardroom ready to useInvite fewer people to the meeting—productivity goes down with increasing numbers of participants
  • Allow the right for employees to decline their attendance, without having to justify themselves and without penalties
  • Reward those people who show up on time and even early with some kind of small gift or reward
  • Don’t let people who are late to the meeting by more than 15 minutes join
  • Don’t allow individuals to hijack or dominate meetings by frequent and endless conversation. It’s the responsibility of the meeting leader to control this
  • End meetings early. People will be more positive about participating as a result
  • No laptops or phones are allowed to be active in meetings. Allowing people to be interrupted or diverting their attention lowers the value of the meeting
  • Don’t tolerate meeting participants working on other things during the meeting. Ask them to leave
  • The meeting leader should enforce only one person speaking at a time, and to the point
  • Ask each meeting participant to prepare for the meeting in advance in response to a meeting question that will be dealt with in the future, not a rehash of the past (not just an agenda item)
  • At the beginning of the meeting, ensure that the desired outcome(s) are stated clearly
  • Limit the action items of your meeting to no more than three
  • Interrupt people who either repeat what they have said, or repeat what someone else has already covered. These are time wasters
  • Whoever calls the meeting should “own” the meeting; don’t allow someone in the group to try to take it over
  • Table any discussion that is not relevant to the agenda

via Why Meetings Kill Productivity | Psychology Today

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