Nice Meeting You

Whoever says meetings are a waste of time from getting real work done isn't participating in real meetings.  I attended an awesome workshop on how to run a good meeting 15+ years ago at a random business conference, and since then I've been trying to put these basic principles into practice:

(1) Start on time, end of time.  When you sag on either end, you waste people's time and you throw things off.

(2) Have an agenda.  If you're going to meet just to meet, then yeah
it's going to be a waste of time.  Know what you're meeting for.

(3) Be prepared.  Send to-do's ahead of time so people know what they are expected to accomplish before and during the meeting.

(4) Decide.  Either make the decision in the meeting, or figure out how and who will make the decision.

(5) Figure out next steps.  This includes if and when we'll be meeting again, and what everyone's supposed to do between now and then.  

(6) Be consistent.  Set the expectation that this is how meetings are going to go, and over time people will get on board.

Almost everything I do at work I do with others.  Their work is precious, as is their perspective.  Without meetings, I can't tap into any of that.  And without good meetings, I waste something else, which is their time and their trust. 
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