Creating Effective Meetings

Effective meetings, whether remote or in-person, are critical for teamwork and productivity.

Yes, efficient meetings can get through a lengthy agenda in a short period of time. Even so, truly effective meetings produce a measurable result.

Everyone should leave feeling clear and confident about what they need to do, how they need to do it, and when they need to do it.

If you can’t explain why you’re holding a meeting in a sentence or two, the meeting is probably unnecessary.

As a Meeting Owner

Creating effective meetings is not just a matter of booking a timeslot with a group of people.

Take your time to plan and prepare accordingly, so that the team’s time investment is worth it.

  • Defining the objectives clearly: attendees are interested in the what, the purpose of their time commitment.

    • Meetings that are successful have a clear goal. There is no reason to hold a meeting if there is no goal.
    • Goals categories: project planning, solving a problem, setting a goal, making a decision, or mapping out a customer journey.
  • Invite the right people. Everyone invited to the meeting should have some level of involvement or purpose:

    • The facilitator - will run the meeting and keep it to the point, without side distractions
    • Task owners - stakeholders
    • Administrator - will generate the summary, keeping track of the discussion and recording every good idea or action plan agreed on
  • Remember about the financial cost of a meeting:

    • Dont’miss anyone who is needed in the discussion
    • Dont overbook people with meetings that wont have any impact
  • End with clear Actions, Owners and Timelines:

A Table with the following structure can be of help to keep everyone informed:

Goal Task Blockers Timeline

As a participant

  • Make sure to understand the context of the meeting.

  • You should be able to visualize your possible contribution.

  • Take notes for your action points.

  • Get to know who is acting as meeting administrator (this participant )

    • Before exiting the meeting, make sure you understand what should be priotizited.
    • As well as what are the other participants next steps.

Questions in the Meetings

  • Clarifying ambiguity: make sure that groups positions are clear
    • What you mean by Y is Z?
  • Seeking information: instead of putting a word to their mouth
    • Can this be done by Monday? -> When can this be finished? -> What are the blockers we have to deliver this by Monday?
    • Avoid Yes/No Questions. Open-Ended questions are much better to gather information.

Psychology in Meetings

  • Be aware of the analysis paralysis, especially when the options increase. Everyone must have clear:
    • What are we trying to resolve?
    • How can it be prioritized?
    • Understand the trade-offs