How was your meeting today ?

meeting small

This week, I had once again a lot of meetings. Some  were efficient and others (a lot) were just black holes for my productivity.

So I decided to remind you of some grounds rules for an effective meeting hereunder:

1. to meet or not to meet ..

Face to face meeting is the best way to handle problems but some of them can be solved quicker by an email or a memo. Never attend a meeting without an agenda or defined topics.

2. Define an agenda in advance

The most successful meeting will be the one with an agenda negotiated ahead of time. Discuss the topic on the phone or via email and send a confirmation of this agenda via email (with the meeting appointment)

3. Send documents prior to the meeting.

If documents must be read before the meeting, send them at least 48h before the meeting. Never read those documents during the meetings since you will penalize the one who made his/her job and read them before hand.

4. Start on time!

How often does it happen? We all do 1h meeting where 45 min would be necessary and the consequences are that it leaves no buffer time between meetings. A Meeting should start on time.

5. Stick to the agenda

Distribute the agenda or write it on a whiteboard so that people will have a constant reminder of what this meeting is supposed to achieve.

6. Stay on topics

Meetings = discussion + argumentations. So there will be topics discussed that are not in the scope of your meetings. However, those topics emerged for a reason and may be interesting to discuss … if you have the time to do so. You can eventually write down the out of bound subjects on a paper to discuss them if you still have some time left at the end of the meeting.

7. Finish on time

5 min before the end of the meeting, summarize the topics and assign the different actions to be taken. Organize the next meeting if necessary see the availability of participants. Do never finish a meeting without having mad a summary with the participants.

8. Your meeting means nothing without follow up.

Make quick notes at the end of the meeting and distribute them within 48 hours. If it needs to be more formal do minutes of meeting but do not wait too long. Distribute this draft to the participants before distributing it to the non-participants. If it is weekly staff meeting, ask the participants to prepare some quick notes in advance in order to generate quickly this meeting report.

9. Leave your gadgets @home

No laptop or phones should be allowed in meetings. Never.

For the laptop, an exception can be done for the presenter of a powerpoint.

10. And finally, review your meeting.

Check the efficiency of your meeting. I made an online review list that you can print to quickly analyze your upcoming meetings.

I would love to hear your comments on the last meeting you had. So, Please take 2 minutes of your time to answer my survey How effective was my last meeting?

One thought on “How was your meeting today ?

  1. Hi Sebastien,

    Agree on all points. I would add:
    – keep an eye on your watch. If needed, pinpoint a time keeper.
    – Avoid disgretions. When you are the meeting leader, you have the right to lead it as you wish. Meaning that if you think some disussion are out of your focus (the one of your meeting to be more specific) cut it.


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