Best Work Yet | Susan Gregory

What’s the worst meeting you’ve been to?

Susan Gregory

We’ve all been in meetings that suck. The discussion gets off track, people multi-task or interrupt each other. Many people spend the better part of their days in meetings. When you need to do your other work on top of all these meetings, it can result in burnout.

Below are three key questions to help you save time and get the best from your meetings, whether or not you’re the person leading the meeting.

  1. Why are we having this meeting?

This question helps to align everyone in the room.  Ideally, the answer will be a common goal that unites everyone present, for example:  “To support us in reaching our sales targets for the quarter.”

If you find the wording of this question too direct, you could try: “I want to make sure I’m adding value to this meeting. What’s the goal I can help you achieve?”

  1. What results do we want by the end of this meeting?

Now you’re focusing on the end result. With a clear answer to this question, the group will know what’s expected from them. If people start to go off topic, you can remind them about what you’re there to achieve. An example of the results for a sales meeting might be:

  • A prioritized list of leads
  • Next actions for each account
  • Resources assigned to support each account
  1. What’s the best approach to getting to those results?

Think through the steps and activities that will get you to your results and add timing.

Be sure that you’ve include time for presentations, discussions, Q&A and wrap up.  A high-level agenda might look like this:

  • Present the list of prospects and discuss the potential (20 minutes)
  • Q&A (10 minutes)
  • Decide next actions and assign resources (10 minutes)
  • Plan the next meeting and wrap up (10 minutes)

It takes just a few minutes to ask and answer these questions and it’s time well spent. Try them in your next meetings!


If you’re interested in getting help planning for and leading your next meeting, please get in touch.

Categories: Communication,Management,Meeting Management.

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