Thoughts on Meetings

One of our managers…had a meeting with his staff to discuss work-life balance. The meeting started at 5 p.m. and ended at 9.


9 Tips for Meetings

1. Make people show up on time

2. Always have an agenda

3. Invite the right people

4. Use email effectively – Don’t have a meeting for something that can be better communicated via email. If you just need to distribute facts, use email.

5. Use meetings to argue

6. Record your decisions

7. Kill the Powerpoints

8. Get everyone talking

9. [...]

Controlling the Meeting

Using the Parking Lot

In meetings, keeping a list we call the “parking lot” is a fairly standard practice. As the discussion unfolds, we “park” there any items that arise that aren’t on the agenda, but which we believe could be important someday soon. Here are some tips for making your parking lot process more effective. 

General Keys

Ensure Equal Contribution

Provide an opportunity for everyone in the meeting to contribute to the meeting. This means that when there is an agenda item that calls to have the group generate ideas make sure everyone’s ideas are heard. When you discuss an issue, everyone gets a say. That way, when you make decisions, you’ll tap into the [...]

General Keys

Recognize introverts and extroverts.

In meetings include processes that focus on both introverted approaches (“alone time” for generating ideas) and extroverted approaches (“group time” for generating ideas). Some people think more effectively by themselves with no distractions, and some like the stimulation of other people. Most of us need both.

General Keys

The Importance of Purpose

The single most important thing to prepare for a meeting to be absolutely clear about the purpose of the meeting. There are two level of purpose to consider:  The first is what you intend to accomplish in the meeting, and the other, higher level, is the reason to behind what you wish to [...]

General Keys

Do only one operation at a time

Generate ideas when you generate ideas; decide when you decide; present when you present.
The three key operations that occur in meetings are generating ideas, making decisions and presenting
information. Often in meetings these operations get mixed up. One person is generating ideas, another
is sharing information, and still another is making a decision. This does not work [...]