A terrible meeting. It's probably happened to you at least once. A meeting where no issues were resolved, all tasks were postponed to the next time, and all participants left feeling like they wasted their time. A good example of a bad meeting is when a group of people gather in one room to discuss everything that comes to mind and nothing in particular. If you want a meeting to be successful, you need to be prepared for it, and if your job is to organize meetings, then the whole team needs to be confident that you are doing a good job.


Board meetings are usually held once a quarter, not weekly. Many companies have switched to impromptu meetings. But it's not just that no one wants bad meetings. They are quite expensive. Poor communication efficiency causes big losses. That's why running effective meetings is not only important for your peace of mind, but also has significant financial implications for both small and large businesses.


Smart meeting management starts long before the meeting starts and continues after it ends. Here are a few key factors to consider when planning a successful meeting with an employee, client, or entire team.


How to run effective meetings?


Define the purpose of the meeting

To do this, imagine the expected result (a positive effect or changes that will result from solving an existing problem) and think about how it should be presented.

Examples of final results of meetings:

  • a weekly meeting of managers from different departments of the company results in agreed plans for the week and coordination of mutual actions that will lead to the implementation of the plans;
  • a meeting of the CEO with the heads of the division resulted in an agreed plan for achieving the targets for the next period for the division;
  • general recurring meetings (morning meetings) result in high morale of the team, coordination and awareness of the goals and objectives of the entire team.


Create a list of topics for discussion

Evaluate all the topics and select 1-2 urgent/important ones. It is ideal if you discuss only one topic at a meeting. This way, you and your employees will avoid getting unfocused.


Prepare the necessary materials

These can be documents to read before the meeting, reports, etc. For typical

recurring meetings, the set of documents will always be

the same, for example:

  • financial report for a certain period;
  • an operational report on the action plan for the next period;
  • tasks in progress.

Dedicate meetings to new ideas and adjustments to plans, not to inform each other about preliminary results – participants should read the documents in preparation for the meeting.

However, remember that the meeting participants should not take more than 1 hour to read the documents.


Decide when the meeting will start

Do not announce the time of the meeting suddenly – on the day of the meeting or even the day before. The earlier you inform the participants, the more likely it is that the meeting will be successful. Don't treat the meeting as an opportunity to exercise your power by taking employees away from more important work. 

If your team members are located in different parts of the world, you'll need to choose a time that works for everyone in each time zone. If you can't find a time window that works for everyone, check to see if the meeting is absolutely necessary. 


Invite important participants to the meeting

Make sure the meeting invitation is sent to the right people. Don't invite the entire team if you know that some members have higher priorities or are not involved in the project. 

Involve all your colleagues in the work with the help of leading remote meeting tools. You can hold a meeting, take notes, and send emails based on the meeting results to any team member both in and out of the office without switching contexts. Invite only  those participants who are directly affected by the issues discussed during the meeting. Ultimately, effective meetings are the key to increasing the effectiveness of team collaboration.


Meetings are only a part of the workflow, and to make the most of your time, install Yaware.TimeTracker.


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