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Three Pillars of a Productive Meeting

Meetings have taken over our calendars. As we continue to navigate remote work, it is critical to revisit the effectiveness of meetings. How often are the meetings happening, are the right people involved, and how can we make them more efficient, value driven?


While these are important conversations to revisit, it is also necessary to focus on the framework of an effective meeting. Regardless of the meeting’s purpose, there are three pillars of a productive meeting:

  1. Structure This includes sending a clear agenda before the meeting, as well as establishing ground rules for discussion.

  2. Facilitation Guiding the discussion will keep the meeting on track, so a leader should know when to allow discussion and when to move on to action, decision and accountability. Always allow for at least 5 minutes to align on action items and next steps.

  3. Accountability Designate a note-taker to record the discussion, decisions, commitments and deadlines that will be shared after the meeting.

Adhering to these pillars will help minimize factors that can make a meeting unproductive, such as lack of organization or side conversations. Meeting organizers and leaders can also develop rules about tardiness and engagement to mitigate the impact of late arrivals or attendees who spend time on their phone or other devices when they should be focused on the discussion.

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