· 2 min read

Running and Being Effective during Meetings

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A meeting is a place that can bring in new ideas and insights and save everyone’s time and effort.

Therefore it’s very important to have an effective productive meeting.

There are some ways to have effective meetings:

Set the context

Most meetings aren’t as effective because the people involved don’t have the context behind what is being discussed.

This can be solved in a few ways:

  • Agenda: A few sets of outlines or questions
  • Provide Pre-reading material
    • A set of materials to read/watch before attending the meeting.
    • It’s better to send a specific link than just mentioning the name of the topic.
  • Set the context during a meeting
    • Start the meeting by setting the context.
      • Why we are doing what we are doing?
      • What do we intend to get out of this meeting?

Be prepared early by maintaining notes

Be prepared for the meeting yourself. You could create a google sheet (sheets.new) for each important recurring meeting.

For example:

Retrospective meeting happens at the end of every sprint or every release. Since the release ended, everyone is already happy and have forgotten everything that they went through.

So, instead have a google sheet with your Retrospective format and fill in info there. So that you’ll have a set of useful points to add to the retrospective.

Encourage Discussion

  • Round Robin Asking/Sharing Inputs
    • Many people are shy and don’t speak up. To get everyone involved discuss concepts/questions in a round-robin fashion.
    • You could even ask specific people who may be too silent “What do you think about this?”

Keep it short/exact

  • Set time on the calendar
    • It’s unproductive to wonder when the meeting is.
    • It’s best to have an exact date and time with the meeting link if it’s online (#postCovidWorld)
  • Short Meeting Durations
    • Aim for 30 min meetings. Max 45.
    • The longer the meeting drags on, the more everyone will feel bored and start losing attention.
    • If the meeting is dragging out longer, take a break. 10 minutes should be good enough.

Set the Next Actions

Towards the end of the meeting:

  • Setting up time for the next meeting and putting it on the Calendar
  • Create an action list. An MoM of sorts
    • Discuss the outcomes of the meeting and have them written down along with who is accountable for it.
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