Meetings: Tips to Transform vs. Tolerate Them

How would you rate the effectiveness of your meetings on a scale of 1-10 (10 being GREAT)? No matter the type of meeting, on average, business leaders rate the effectiveness of their meetings as a 4 out of 10!

We’ve all had the experience of “death by meeting.” There are distractions, people walk in late, someone dominates the conversation, and others are checked out or staring at their phone. When meetings go overtime, a domino effect can completely undermine your productivity that day.

Workers who leave a bad meeting typically report feeling drained, annoyed or frustrated. No wonder people believe that over 50% of meetings are a complete waste of time.


Do not waste a single minute and bring the score up to a 10 with a few suggestions:

  1. Prep work is paramount to having a successful meeting. Create an agenda including the meeting purpose, and send it out in advance.
  2. Consider synchronizing your agenda with time flow. Setting times on each agenda item will help keep you focused and on track, less wasted time and irrelevant content!
  3. Ensure the right people are in the meeting. Most people in meetings don’t need to be there.
  4. Make sure whoever is leading the meeting keeps the group on track – without allowing the conversation to wander.
  5. Start the meeting on time and end the meeting on time.
  6. Begin the meeting with a check-in that shifts the energy in the room – something like “Good News” helps the meeting start on a positive note and sets the tone for a productive session, where everyone can reset and gear up for what’s ahead.
  7. Set some ground rules. Check laptops, phones and tablets at the door.
  8. Ensure the technology is up and running well before the meeting begins.
  9. Clearly identify and record action items, who’s accountable and by what deadline. A bad meeting is when no one is sure what, if anything, was decided or accomplished.
  10. Have attendees rate how they did as a team on a scale of 1-10.

When we rate our meetings, people prepare better and engage at a higher level. It’s just human nature. What gets measured gets better!

The easiest way to avoid more bad meetings is to learn what’s not working and use that as fuel to manage a better meeting next time.

  • Did the meeting start late?
  • Was there a lack of structure?
  • Was the room uncomfortable?
  • Were the right people around the table?
  • Was everyone an active participant?
  • Did the team follow the agenda?
  • Did the team create action steps with who’s accountable and by when?
  • Is it time to reevaluate your meetings – daily, weekly and monthly – for their practicality?
  • Have you accomplished the purpose of these meetings, or are you continuing to host them out of habit or ritual?
  • How can you restructure your meetings to be more productive?

Companies running on the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) are following a Level 10 Meeting Agenda. These meetings are earning “10” ratings regularly. If you’re not familiar with EOS or the Level 10 Agenda, check out the following resources. You might be able to incorporate a couple of these tactics to improve your meetings and enhance your reputation as a leader:

With just a couple of adjustments, you can improve your meetings, coming out with clarity, focus and a feeling of accomplishment!

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