Meetings are important for us to generate ideas, make decisions or share information.
However, meetings cost a lot of time and human resources. Therefore, we need to carefully think about whether a meeting is the best way to do something. For example, don’t hold a meeting to simply convey information that can equally be shared some other way.
Before setting up a meeting, please make sure there is a clear purpose. All meetings must have an agenda, and preferably timed agenda items (especially for longer meetings). Agenda items must have directly responsible individuals, and the entire meeting must have a chair. When inviting people to the meeting, please minimise the number of invitees, but make sure the relevant decision-makers or process owners are in the room. Invited participants may consider not attending if other team members will be present or if they need to block out time in their calendar to work. Every meeting must have clear outcomes, e.g. decisions or actions.
A bit of meeting etiquette: these are all common sense things, but sometimes we all slip into bad habits.
- Be on time and be prepared
- Let the organiser know if you can’t attend
- Turn your phone and laptop off (unless you present)
- Tidy up the room afterwards, removing food/drink debris, wipe down the whiteboard
- Finish on time
- Don’t occupy meeting rooms you have not booked