One meeting tip: it can be helpful to tell participants upfront whether this is a discussion meeting or a decision meeting. A discussion meeting can be messy – the goal is to get ideas out on the table, build on them, understand each other’s point of view. Discussion meetings can also be used to come up with the criteria and data which will allow you to make a decision.
A decision meeting means we agree we need to leave here with a resolution. And even if you have different perspectives, the goal of the meeting is to have a clear actionable outcome.
Sometimes meetings can be both, but often, esp on complex topics, rather than having a rolling series of endless discussions, you just need to say “the point of this meeting is not to resolve this issue but rather to make sure that next time we meet, we have everything we need to make a quick decision.”
Great post. Simple and direct. I wish most business management folks could follow this advice.
Meetings are necessary for planning, and decision making. How well they work influences whether people remain in a group. All meetings should be as lively and as much fun as possible.