How to Run Meetings That Don't Suck
The four types of meetings and how to make each one actually useful
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We’ve all sat in on meetings that drain our time and energy. It’s all too common to spend an entire day in these “syncs” only to have to do real work at night.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
An effective meeting can empower people to do better work for months.
So let’s talk about how to run great meetings overall and for each type below:
Ad hoc meetings
5 steps to run a great meeting
It’s quite simple:
Here’s how I do it:
Start with why. Define the goal of the meeting (e.g., “make a decision on X”) and only invite people who can contribute. Clarify who the decision maker is.
Share a doc one day before. Write a clear and concise decision doc and ask people to read and discuss async in the doc before the meeting.
Discuss only open issues live. It’ll be clear which issues remain unresolved from the async discussion in the doc.
Screen share and take notes. This helps people feel heard and keeps discussions focused.
Recap and share notes right after. A few bullet points on next steps with a link to the doc will do it.
I try to follow the steps above for every meeting. Now, let’s dive into the four types of meetings and the #1 mistake that you should avoid for each one.
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