Meetings are a tricky topic … they are necessary to align our work, discuss important topics and hear other people’s viewpoints. At the same time they can be expensive, tedious and break one’s flow. That’s why we stick to the following principles:
Does it even need to be a meeting?
Sometimes matters can be solved by a quick Slack exchange, face-to-face chat or Basecamp message.
Find a time slot with minimal distraction
Check people’s calendars and try to put your meeting within the core hours between 11am and 3pm.
End your meeting at :50 or :55 to give people a short time before their next assignment.
Invite all participants necessary to make a decision
Invite all of the people who need to be present for decision-making. We want to solve the matter at hand, not have another meeting because somebody felt excluded.
Always book a room (if in the office)
Your meeting room reservation should be as long as necessary, but as short as possible.
Meetings involving remote people
Make sure you are inclusive towards remote participants, giving them time to chime in and each person using your own laptop when in groups. Ask if the connection and audio is good enough and (if you’re remote) point out when it isn’t.
Make sure all your calendar entries include a zoom link.
Provide an agenda and/or clear goals
The purpose of the meeting should be clear to all participants.
Start on time with a checkin
Don’t wait for people who are late. Always start on time and start with a checkin to get grounded in the meeting. Good checkin questions are:
- What’s on your mind these days?
- How was your weekend / how has your week been?
- If this project was a movie, which one would it be?
Get creative! 🤡
Keep track of results and decisions
When the meeting starts, decide on one person to keep track of key points and decisions that were made. Post these results in Confluence.
Keep your phone in your pocket
Respect your coworkers: Focus and don’t get distracted by your devices.
Listen and consider other points of view
It should go without saying, but we’re meeting to exchange opinions, observations and give feedback. Listening is a skill and every meeting is an opportunity to get better at it.
Leave when you’re not needed
If you feel you cannot contribute in a meeting, you’re free to politely state that and excuse yourself.
Reach an actionable result
A meeting without a clear result was a waste of time … always define next steps with clear responsibilities and expectations. Point it out if you feel something was left unclear.
Quick retrospective at the end
The last two minutes of the meeting could be dedicated to a round of feedback from each person: Were their expectations met? Is everyone satisfied with the result? Was it well enough prepared and well moderated? No big discussion, just briefly sharing how everyone perceived what happened, so we can improve next time.
Meeting Agenda Template
Answer these questions in the calendar event description:
Why is this meeting happening? What are the agenda points?