Ask This Question Before Calling a Meeting

by | Jul 14, 2020 | Meeting Performance, MeetingScience Benefits, Productivity

Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management books including Off the Clock and 168 Hours. In this Medium piece, she shares the question that she asks before calling a meeting:

What crucial change will result from bringing people together, that could not have happened otherwise?

We would slightly modify this question and combine it with a rule of threes:

  1. What is the purpose of the meeting?
  2. What is the goal?
  3. What is the agenda?

If you can’t write a purpose statement for the meeting (which dovetails nicely to answer Laura’s question), then it probably shouldn’t happen.

If you can’t write a goal statement for the meeting (effectively, boiling down the anticipated decision outcome from bringing a group of people together), then it probably shouldn’t happen.

And finally, if you don’t have an agenda, you shouldn’t host a meeting, and as an attendee, you shouldn’t accept a meeting invite that lacks on. We’ve now analyzed close to 30,000 meetings with two or more people, and fewer than 6% of them have an agenda. That’s why we launched our Chrome extension, packed with 32 curated agenda templates across 9 different meeting types, to help meeting organizers thrive.

There is so much room for growth and meeting nirvana with small changes to our meeting habits.

Related Posts

Fumbling Toward (Remote? Flexible? Hybrid? Office?) Ecstasy

Fumbling Toward (Remote? Flexible? Hybrid? Office?) Ecstasy

You are not part of the first company nor the last to try and solve the post-pandemic 'how do we really work now?' problem of 2022 and beyond. Here are three recent articles on how different companies manage (or not) the transition (or not): 1) Bloomberg - Employees...

The (Not So) Surprising Impact of Meeting-Free Days

The (Not So) Surprising Impact of Meeting-Free Days

Could you reduce your meetings to zero meetings per week? Could that outweigh the perceived benefits of social interaction and cohesion? And how about productivity and stress? Determining these outcomes was the objective of a recent study published in MIT Sloan. In...

The Ultimate Guide to Meeting Agendas

The Ultimate Guide to Meeting Agendas

95% of meetings need agendas, period. The science on this is clear. Unfortunately, too often we see the opposite to be true, namely, that on average, just 5% of meetings have agendas for the average meeting attendee (or organizer). While disheartening, it's not...

Timing May In Fact Be Everything

Timing May In Fact Be Everything

Daniel Pink, the best-selling author of the newly released The Power of Regret, published another New York Times best-selling book in 2018 titled When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. In that book, he reveals, through meticulous research, that, among other...

Related Content

This website stores cookies on your computer. We use these cookies to collect information on how you interact with our website and allow us to remember you. We use this information in order to improve and customize your browsing experience and for analytics and metrics about our visitors. To find out more about the cookies we use, please see our Privacy Policy. View more

MeetingScience featured in Forbes - click here to learn more

Share This