She then goes on to outline best practice techniques for setting and running effective meetings:
1. Set the meeting’s intention in advance: what exactly do you want to accomplish?
Will an email suffice instead of a meeting?
If it’s to get everyone aligned and to allocate work, then set a tight agenda and wrap the meeting within 45 minutes. The key is allow only enough Info Sharing to solicit Requests from parties who need something and Promises from those who will deliver. If it’s a company meeting/update session for the team, keep it short with segments for summary result info, current obstacles and plans to overcome them, future goals, a short education session and celebration of people/recent accomplishments.
Is the meeting’s purpose to share your thoughts/feelings? Have a one-on-one huddle for 10-15 minutes instead.
Is it to debate or point prove? How necessary is that?
2. Invite the doers, decision makers, impacted parties only.
Often meetings are too crowded because too many unnecessary people are invited. The point of the meeting is to get stuff done as a group. Get the people in the room who will facilitate that or be affected by it.
3. Have a clear meeting leader and tight time-lined agenda.
The meeting leader’s task is to keep everyone on track and drive to results. Once each key point of the meeting is mapped out, keep the focus on achieving your intention. Other topics and side conversations will be handled off line later with the appropriate parties present. Also the goal isn’t to solve detailed problems in the meeting, it’s to assign responsibilities based on Requests and Promises made. The responsible individuals will follow through post-meeting.
4. Send a recap email of all responsibilities post-meeting.
The meeting leader will summarize the Requests, Promises and details of each. Remember a vague Request (can you get me info on our top advertisers?) versus a clear Request (can you get me a report of our top 50 advertisers in the USA with spending history for the current + past 5 years in a spreadsheet by 4pm this Friday?) will help the Promise maker to succeed. The meeting leader’s job is to ensure all participants are set up to succeed in executing their Promises.
The result of the above is meetings that are efficient, effective, and keep your team happy and executing with high accountability. Further, it’ll reduce B.S., frustration, and disengaged team members.