4 Steps to Structure Your Team Meetings Better
Let’s be honest: Most meetings are a waste of time, especially if they aren’t well designed. Next time you lead a team meeting, take the time to carefully structure it so that the duration and content align with the objective:
- Define the work of the team. What specifically do you and the attendees need to accomplish?
- Divide agenda items into categories. We aren’t good at changing the pace or tenor of a conversation once it starts, so don’t try to combine different types of discussions. Instead, categorize similar items together. If necessary, create other meetings to address other types of conversations.
- Determine the length. Figure out how much time you need, based on a fair estimate of how long each agenda item will take (plus a little padding). Don’t let your calendar app decide the length — if you only need 15 minutes, don’t schedule 30.
- Plan for overflow. If you run out of time, don’t cram agenda items into the end of the meeting. Set up a time to address topics you don’t get to, which may only require a subset of the group.