Whether its for getting people on the same page, or meeting new people, or whatever, meetings are a necessary evil.
Here are some rules for if you want to maximise the output:
- Usually a meeting needs an agenda. But not always. Some of the most productive gatherings are those where there is no agenda and the conversation can be serendipitous.
- There’s a difference between forced small talk and general banter. Stay clear of the former. Spend time on the latter.
- Stay in the moment. Don’t look at your phone or daydream. Concentrate on the people in the room.
- Listen. Don’t be the guy who talks for the sake of talking.
- Standing room only. If you make it comfortable, people will prolong the meeting.
- Minimise the number of people in the meeting. Watch out for professional meeting-attenders. Fire them.
- Make sure outcomes are allocated to individuals so you can hold people to account at the next meeting.
- Send an email summary (minutes if necessary) on the same day to all attendees. If you want to define the outcomes of a meeting, then you should draft the summary.