Preparing and Organizing Meetings

Have care and use people’s time efficiently and effectively. 

Adding a big group of people to a meeting is usually a lazy tactic unless it is intended as a wide broadcast. 

If you have a meeting where there are more than 5 people and only one to two people are talking then that meeting is a waste of time for everyone else and ultimately a waste of money. 

Have smaller meetings about specific things. Don’t have broad working sessions as these lack focus and take up a large chunk of time on peoples calendar and makes scheduling difficult.

If you have recurring meetings then have a specific routine to go through. 

No one should show up to a meeting and ask what we are talking about (especially if you are the one who scheduled the meeting!).  

Prepare for a meeting before and create an agenda. Have a clear goals for what you want to accomplish as a result of the meeting. 

Create a document that lists the agenda in a ‘table of contents’ format. Go over this at the start of the meeting and ask ‘What other points am I missing to discuss?’. 

If the group feels comfortable share the screen and take notes so that everyone is aligned and don’t get confused. 

If possible record the meetings. This helps for referencing a discussion that happened a long time ago and it decreases the likelihood that someone will try to do goofy thing related to their agenda. 

Stay focused on the topic of the meeting and don’t deviate. If there is deviation as specific questions to get everyone back on track. It can help sometimes to ask questions quickly right at the end of someone speaking to gain control. If you are quick while speaking and ask specific questions to a specific person they are thinking about what to say and are not 

There shouldn’t really be redundant people in a meeting. Everyone should have a specific responsibility and a specific reason to be there. There should be one person who represents the team and that person should be able to effectively distribute the information to the team. However, the information in the meeting should be transparent. They should be recorded and anyone anywhere should be able to access the contents of that meeting. This makes it less likely for people to feel like things are being hidden from them. However, in a leadership role you want to funnel the team goals and plan through one person instead of trying to communicate that through multiple people in a team.  

The more people you have in a meeting the more likely the meeting will be chaotic because everyone wants to be heard and steer the conversation to their agenda which is likely in their own self interest. 

Send a recap after the meeting to highlight agreements about decisions made, conversation recap to mention, outstanding pending decisions, and action items and item owners. 

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