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Towards a Moderately Impactful Meeting

Meetings are an opportunity. But the opportunity is often wasted in our work culture. Meetings should be short, directed, lightly populated, and held with the intent to collaborate and produce something. After all, I think we’re all aware of the phrase, “There are those that produce and then there are those in meetings.”

A few years ago I put down four bullet points that people found helpful. I will republish them here now.

  • Be on-time. Blocking and tackling here on this one. Get the basics right and the rest will follow. Plus, as the meeting gets larger, the more you’re delayed the more productivity you lose

  • Be prepared. There should be an agenda, and some semblance of note-taking and assignments, and all parties should be ready to work when assembled. Everyone should know why they are there and should be provided with the required reading or materials

  • Be focused and on topic. Multitasking is a killer. It’s counterproductive and rude and can lead to an inferior product. If you can’t focus, leave. The topic should be clear (see “Be Prepared”) and all parties should stay focused on that topic

  • Be results-oriented. You’re all there for a reason. Do it.


  1. Sitting and collaborating with colleagues is not a meeting. I’m not arguing every session where two or more are gathered requires a scribe

  2. This system - if we want to call it that - is really about respect. Respect your time and the time of your colleagues

  3. A session like the so-called “town hall” is also not a meeting. However, the same basic fundamentals apply. The goal however is not collaboration but rather to provide information to the team(s). Therefore, let’s call it something other than a meeting.

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