Productive meetings

Published on .

Tagged under soft skills.

Around 2 min read.

I’m going to go a limb and assume you’ve had at least one meeting in your entire career. Were you happy you participated actively or did you feel like it was a waste of time for you and others?

I’ve visited some fellow colleagues to engage in meaningful discussion related to how people feel about behavioral skills in their work life. I’ve had immense amounts of feedback and I noticed that the meetings I held were very purposeful and drew lots of insights, albeit small.

A good leader knows how to host a proper meeting.

Some tips to help you

  1. When holding standups, cultivate the idea of being short and sweet. Each one should say nothing more than what they did since last time, what they want to accomplish next and who can help with those goals. If there are important issues to go over in detail, spare some time during the day to go over them with the relevant people.
  2. When scheduling a brainstorming session, be very clear about its goals to everyone who is participating. Also, ask them to come prepared with some ideas to begin with so they serve as foundation to further creativity. Bring refreshments and light snacks so the team stays energized and keep a neutral-to-positive stance towards ideas.
  3. Question yourself if you really need to host a meeting just because everyone needs to pay attention at the same time to an announcement you’re making. Think about whether it’s better to publish a written piece or record a video on what it is you’re announcing, instead of stealing the entire company’s time and money. 30 minutes per person is a lot of money; don’t throw it away. If you’d still like to get questions from your team/company, book a quick 15-20 minute slot, remote or in premises. Have people prepare questions in advance so there’s no waste.
  4. Recall power moves at the end of a meeting. Decisions that are made during its course should be reminded to everyone so they know the meeting has been effective.
  5. A call/conversation is not really a meeting. However, it deserves proper preparation if either side feels like they need time to accommodate such an interaction.
  6. Slides are the bane of meetings. Use them sparingly, don’t cram stuff in.