One key reason to have a meeting is to make a decision. And often this does not go well. You’ve been in a meeting like this. A group of smart people come together to discuss important topics, but nobody really knows who will or how to decide on an action (or really, if action is the desired outcome after all).

Decide these things before you call a meeting:

  • What is the purpose of discussing this topic in the first place? If you’re just sharing information, do that via other means like an email. We use meeting outputs as a means to achieve the purpose of each topic. For example an item output is “Decide on next steps and accountability for ABC Project,” not “Talk about ABC Project.”
  • If you need to take action, figure out how you’ll decide. Will you be looking for consensus? Who is driving that process? What happens if it looks like there is no consensus? Is there someone in the room who is the “decider?” It’s okay to say that, rather than make it appear to be a group decision. Have clarity around the decision-making process you’ll use.
  • Beware of recurring meetings. It’s all too easy to hold them “because we’ve always done that.” Periodically review your calendar to see if meetings are necessary and fruitful.

For more insight on unlocking the secrets of better meetings, particularly when decisions need to be made, read this McKinsey article.

Do you have an insightful meetings strategy? Share it in the comments below or message us.


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