How to Hold a Meaningful Meeting

Meetings are a powerful method of communicating with the team in order to discuss ideas and issues. But why does it seem like nothing much is getting done in most of the meetings you attend? Why does it feel more like a waste of time when you can be doing actual work? That’s because you have not had a meaningful meeting yet. Sometimes meetings take too long and a lot of time is wasted doing a whole bunch of nothing. Or some people start falling asleep during a meeting because their mind starts wandering. So how do we prevent all of this from happening? To fix this you just need to form some very basic and simple habits before each meeting. You might do some of these already but do you always do it?
2 min read

  • What is the purpose of the meeting?

Flesh out the details of the meeting. Why are you having a meeting? What issues need to be discussed in the meeting? Create an agenda for the meeting, so that the meeting never loses direction and wastes time. Make sure that the people who are attending the meeting are notified way ahead of time, so they can prepare for it. If you’re not the one in charge of planning the meeting then ask what the agenda is. If there is no agenda, then ask for the purpose of the meeting and what is going to be discussed. 

  • Who is coming?

Plan out who should attend the meeting and who should not. Not everyone is required to attend every meeting every single time. Just have the people who are the main decision-makers attend the meeting. If it is a session to bring up new ideas, have more people attend to contribute. If you overfill the meeting with people that don’t need to be there, they probably won’t have anything to say and their time will just be wasted. They might even doze off during the meeting. 

  • How long is the meeting?

Limit the time you spend having the meeting. Meetings should not take too much of your time if you are prepared for it. In case you lose track of the time during the meeting, make sure someone is keeping track of how long the meeting has been going on for. 

  • Is anyone silent?

The attendees for the meeting are there for a reason. They are just there to observe and if they remain silent, that defeats the purpose of the meeting. Call out the quiet ones to see if they have anything to say or add to the meeting. They might have some interesting things to say that they might not have been confident enough to mention. 

  • Is there a follow-up?

Once the meeting has ended and decisions are made, make sure that everyone is on the same flow. Make sure that you follow up later to see if they are heading in the right direction. 

  • The most obvious habit to have during a meeting

The most obvious thing to do during a meeting is to, of course, take notes. Why would you not take notes during a meeting? You might have trouble recalling what happened during the meeting and asking those who attended the meeting will just show that you did not pay attention during the meeting. You don’t have to take notes on everything that was mentioned during the meeting, but make sure you take notes on anything that you are responsible for. 

Check out one of our previous blogs where we mentioned how to hold a meeting:

How to Manage Your Product Team

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