10 Tips for Great Meetings (Part 1)

One of the Team Skills I mentioned in my last post was Effective Meetings. Does the idea of a great meeting sound like an oxymoron to you? Let’s face it; most of the meetings we attend are not the model for productivity and efficiency. However, if done well, meetings multiply our time, increase our productivity, tap into the collective wisdom and creativity of the group, yield better decisions and better results. Done poorly, they are a colossal waste of time. So what can a leader do?

Help your team master a few basics and you can have better meetings starting today.

  1.  Invite the right people – Have you ever been frustrated when you were in a meeting and realized you were missing an important perspective? Maybe you didn’t even have the decision maker in the room. Always ask yourself, “Who needs to be at the next meeting?”
  1.  Publish an agenda – Some people will never be able to contribute fully without advance time to prepare. Help them, and the team, by sending out an agenda – in advance.
  1.  Distribute pertinent information before the meeting – Don’t expect people to be handed important information in the moment and offer substantive feedback. If there’s something that needs to be reviewed or approved during the meeting, send it in advance whenever possible.
  1.  Devote 75% of every meeting to performance improvement – If you are having a meeting only to “inform” people, there are much more efficient ways to do that. Devote the majority of the time in your meeting to review data, solve problems, think creatively, recognize great work, etc.
  1. Designate a facilitator – A facilitator’s role is to anticipate and remove barriers – before, during and after the meeting. Be sure someone is assigned to play this critical role.

I’ll share the balance of my Top 10 in my next post. Between now and then, see if you can put one of the previous ideas into practice.


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