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Rules for meetings

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • December 23, 2016

Whether its for getting people on the same page, or meeting new people, or whatever, meetings are a necessary evil.


Here are some rules for if you want to maximise the output:


  1. Usually a meeting needs an agenda. But not always. Some of the most productive gatherings are those where there is no agenda and the conversation can be serendipitous.
  2. There’s a difference between forced small talk and general banter. Stay clear of the former. Spend time on the latter.
  3. Stay in the moment. Don’t look at your phone or daydream. Concentrate on the people in the room.
  4. Listen. Don’t be the guy who talks for the sake of talking.
  5. Standing room only. If you make it comfortable, people will prolong the meeting.
  6. Minimise the number of people in the meeting. Watch out for professional meeting-attenders. Fire them.
  7. Make sure outcomes are allocated to individuals so you can hold people to account at the next meeting.
  8. Send an email summary (minutes if necessary) on the same day to all attendees. If you want to define the outcomes of a meeting, then you should draft the summary.

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