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.

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