The two keys to a great meeting

Image source: http://www.icanbarelydraw.com/comic/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/long-boring-meetings-600dpi.png
Image source: http://www.icanbarelydraw.com/comic/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/long-boring-meetings-600dpi.png

No one likes meetings, yet we always seem to be in them. Given this reality, how do we get the most out of them?

The blogosphere is littered with thoughts on this topic. I won’t reinvent them here. However, as a surivor of years of meetings, I have distilled that pain into two keys to a great meeting:

A pre-determined outcome was achieved

If you don’t have a clear goal in advance of a meeting, I say don’t go to it. Organizers will quickly get the message. All meetings should have an objective that is agreed upon in advance. A successful meeting is one that achieves that objective.

Participants leave the meeting feeling motivated

I have sat through many, long, life-sucking meetings. While good things were accomplished, I still left feeling old and drained. This is not a successful meeting in my books.

A successful meeting is one where the participants all leave feeling psyched about what has been discussed and the outcomes of that discussion.

Generally speaking, this happens with shorter meetings. It also happens with one off meetings convened around a specific purpose, rather than with recurring meetings.

That’s it. The two keys to successful meetings!