7 Requirements for Effective Meetings

by Greg Skloot
Meetings   |   5 Min Read
effective meetings

1. Decide if a meeting is necessary

A meeting will only be productive if it is being held for the right reasons. Meetings should only occur when a group is having discussion, debate and making decisions. If the meeting is just to share status updates, you’re better off skipping the meeting and doing the updates in writing.

2. Only include people essential to the topic

To structure the meeting properly, only include a small set of people that have a genuine interest and stake in what you are discussing. If there are too many passive meeting attendees, things get unproductive quickly.

3. Create and share an agenda in advance

Meetings need to be organized since they are consuming so much time. To keep them organized, create an agenda in advance and share with the attendees to solicit feedback. If they think something else needs to be added, consider adding it. It’s better to do that in advance rather than cutting into the limited in-person time you have at the meeting.

4. Keep time and don’t go over

Meetings need to be kept to a strict time limit to be respectful of every attendee. If the meeting is an hour, keep it to an hour and structure it accordingly so you can accomplish the agenda in that time period. Limit the agenda items to align with the allotted time.

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5. Stay on topic

A frequent meeting issue is when the conversation veers off topic into an unrelated black hole. The leader of the meeting needs to be aggressive in cutting people off if they are going off topic from the established agenda.

6. Have clear action items

The goal of the meeting should be to make decisions and have a set of action items based on those decisions. The action items should be well documented and included in the follow up.

7. Send a written follow up

Promptly after the meeting, someone (ideally the leader) should send a recap that outlines the decisions made and the action items assigned to each stakeholder that attended the meeting. This step is essential for making the meeting truly productive.

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