How To Do Meetings

The first thing to consider is WhyToDoAnyMeetings? at all?

How about ReducingTheMeetingsToTheBareMinimum?? I prefer to have meetings with a clear set of objectives and the minimum set of people to arrive at a decision. Everyone in the meeting must have a saying. If somebody is not needed to reach a decision, he can be informed by e-mail. An InformativeMeeting is not a meeting but a WasteOfTime?.

A meeting with one of the following properties is flawed:

  1. People must agree to spend time and resources at the meeting. The boss must agree, too. If the person is uncooperative or is simply not committed with the result, the boss must be told. This is only necessary when the meeting is held among different companies, different departments, etc., because a failure may be seen as the failure of the person organizing the meeting, so they see no reason to cooperate.
  2. One that is scheduled to last more than 20 minutes.
  3. One that has more than 5 people. Each person should be able to speak for at most 5 minutes. If not just flip a coin and set a decision until everyone has thought things through and can explain them quickly or in writing. Better if they show a SpikeSolution.
  4. One that does not have a written, clear and short set of objectives.
  5. One that does not have alternatives for each objective.
  6. One that at the end does not have a written result of agreements and pending issues for each objective.

-- GuillermoSchwarz

Interesting. I have a number of documents here that must be verified by about six people. Each person is an expert in a different area covered by the documentation. They're all coming over here in a month to review the documents. They need to all be in the same room so that they can ask each other questions. This meeting will last days. Is this page suggesting that this meeting is a WasteOfTime?, or am I missing something? -- BrentNewhall

A CollaborativeWorkSession? may work, but I've never seen one that does. The main problem is that people can't think out loud without others interrupting. Even if they do not interrupt, there is one person thinking, the others are just disagreeing in silence. It takes a lot of time to agree on anything unless the time used for explaining point of view is short and there is lot of time for thinking things through in isolation, as for example for creating SpikeSolutions. -- GuillermoSchwarz

However: there are many reasons for meetings. The rules given apply to only some meetings

It seems to me that any meeting that meets criteria 2 and 3 (no more than 20 minutes and no more than 5 people) is probably a WasteOfTime?. Any issue that can be resolved that quickly and with such a small number of people probably doesn't warrant a face-to-face meeting among the principals. You'll expend more effort scheduling it and traveling to it than attending it.

Best way of running meetings I have come across is RedCardMeetings AndrewCates
PatternsForEffectiveMeetings SuccessfulMeeting RedCardMeetings

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