4 Steps to Structure Your Team Meetings Better

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Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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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:

o Define the work of the team. What specifically do you and the attendees need to accomplish?

o 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.

o Instead, categorize similar items together. If necessary, create other meetings to address other types of conversations.

o 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.

o 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.

Adapted from “A Step-by-Step Guide to Structuring Better Meetings,” by Liane Davey

To check out that HBR article and join the discussion, please click here.

Also, you may wish to check out an anthology, Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, by clicking here.

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