Dec 01, 2022

Meeting types – What to agenda and how to prepare effective meeting

by Gabby

If you believe you are attending more meetings than usual, you are correct.

The number of meetings we attend in a mid-Covid workplace has increased. Whether we work from home or in the office, it’s critical to understand the various types of meetings in which we participate.

Meetings allow us to collaborate, share information, and find solutions as a team, regardless of where we work. They provide an opportunity to generate new and creative ideas by using brainstorming techniques.

The issue is that many meetings held today are inefficient. According to Doodle’s State of Meetings report, professionals waste 2 hours per week in ineffective meetings.

How can we make meetings feel more productive and less like a waste of time?

Let’s start by learning about the various types of meetings and how to ensure they are beneficial to you and your team.

What are meeting goals?

It may seem like setting a meeting goal is common sense, but the truth is, there’s a lot more to it. In order to run and participate in an effective meeting, it’s essential that you set meeting objectives in advance, so that you have a goal to work towards in the amount of time allotted to meet.

Meeting goals are objectives that a team or organization hopes to achieve through a meeting. They can cover anything from long-term strategy to specific projects and tasks, and should be tailored to the purpose of the meeting.

The goals should be achievable within a reasonable amount of time and should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely). When clearly defined goals are set at the beginning of the meeting, it helps participants focus on what needs to be done and keeps them on track throughout the duration. This also ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal and makes it easier for everyone to stay organized.

Setting clear expectations for what should be achieved by the end of the meeting will help ensure that its purpose is fulfilled. How you set goals for an effective meeting is going to depend on the current stage and status of your project.

What are the types of meetings?

Meetings are an essential part of doing business. Yet with so many types of meetings—whether it’s an onboarding meeting, a brainstorming session, or a status update—figuring out which are actually productive and which aren’t can be challenging.

Let’s get acquainted with some important types so we can better understand how to conduct them correctly.

Decision-make meetings

A decision-making meeting is a group effort directed by a team leader.

According to McKinsey, it typically has 6 to 8 attendees and a structured agenda outlining the decisions that must be made.

The people involved are either key decision-makers or subject matter experts. For example, when deciding on a new hire, only certain employees, such as hiring managers, will be involved.

To run an effective decision-making meeting, participants must be aware of how the decision will be made in advance.

Example case:

Project Kickoff meetings

  • One leader driving goals​
  • Cross-functional team​
  • First of a series of regular meeting updates and check-ins​
  • Task-driven with multiple initiatives making up the overall project​
  • The leader needs to stay on top of the tasks being assigned

Regular Team meetings

When most people think of team meetings, they picture a bunch of people sitting around a table in a conference room.

These meetings are used to build cohesion within a group and improve the way team members work together.

Not only do onboarding meetings help new team members learn how they fit into the big picture, but they also help to start the relationship with both their managers and the wider company on the right foot.

Once that objective is achieved, participants have to decide who will implement the best solution. This responsibility can be assigned to one person or shared among a few team members.

  • Weekly update meetings​
  • Can often involve project sprints​
  • Typically, each group member is updating their status and managing themselves​
  • Projects will come up and then be completed or closed out​

One-on-one meetings 

A one-on-one meeting takes place between two people. It is set aside for a specific purpose.

It could be a performance review between a manager and an employee, or a meeting between a sales representative and a client.

Effective one on one meetings can involve sharing ideas, working through feedback and obstacles, and further discussing performance, goals, and growth.

While you don’t need to stick to an agenda during a one-on-one, keeping a running list of what each person needs to cover is common. The meeting is otherwise unstructured and unfolds like a normal conversation.

One-on-one check-ins have increased by 18% since the pandemic, according to Microsoft Workplace Insights. According to their findings, regular touchpoints foster a sense of connection and fun for remote employees.

Example case:

Client meetings

  • Can vary drastically depending on the profession​
  • Lawyers and accountants need to record tasks and accurate minutes and keep archived​

Brainstorm meetings

Brainstorming sessions are meetings for innovation. Participants work together to come up with new and creative ideas.

Team members work as equal co-contributors or under the supervision of a facilitator during these sessions. These loosely structured idea-generation meetings allow teams to “think big” and tap into their creative potential. Employees use their creative thinking skills to come up with new ideas or products by using a variety of brainstorming techniques such as mind mapping.

Example case:

Ad Hoc Meetings

An Ad Hoc meeting is one that takes place outside of your regular recurring meetings or meeting rhythms. They are also known as one-time meetings. Ad hoc meetings are called to address a specific topic or discussion as opposed to recurring meetings that occur at regular intervals and cover ongoing, regular topics.

  • Unplanned​
  • Usually just a few people​
  • Initiatives assigned typically short-term projects or immediate tasks ​
  • May not require follow-up

Check-in meetings

One of the most common types of meetings is the check-in meeting. Organizations that hold these meetings are usually set for meetings where you want to check in on the progress that has been made.

  • Inform others about project updates and progress.
  • Ascertain that everyone is fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.
  • Obtain employee feedback
  • Discuss any difficulties, successes, or ideas.
  • Determine the next steps.

Recruiter meetings

A recruitment meeting is the first meeting between a recruiter and officials from the employer, during which all parties involved discuss the recruiting and hiring process’s strategy and goals. This meeting is also known as a kickoff or intake meeting.

  • Interview format​
  • Relies on the recruiter to take meeting notes and report back​
  • Questions come from the hiring manager​

Why are meeting agendas important?

Everything else on the agenda including topics, times, and presenters are the activities that, taken together, will accomplish the aims. A weekly or monthly staff meeting may not require meeting aims beyond the agenda items.

Have productive meetings your team can be proud of with a clear meeting agenda for every event in your calendar.

Following a meeting agenda will cut back the time spent discussing topics that aren’t relevant to the meeting.

What changes can I make to my work environment to improve my productivity and quality of work?

Preparation is essential when it comes to meetings. All experienced presenters will emphasize the importance of meeting preparation and, more importantly, meeting preparation techniques.

They need to share goals, procedures, and strategies. Focusing strictly on necessary staff meeting topics will keep meetings useful and time-conscious.

Establish a clear objective and agenda.

Before sending a meeting invitation, make sure you understand the meeting’s purpose. What is your ultimate goal? This will assist you in determining what type of meeting you should hold and who should attend.

Once your goal has been established, your meeting must adhere to a strict agenda to ensure that every minute is utilized effectively.

Every meeting that lacks a clear structure can quickly become ineffective.

Avoid inviting too many people.

Determine which team members must attend and avoid overcrowding the meeting. A decision-making meeting, for example, should only include key stakeholders.

This ensures that those who must be present have the opportunity to contribute and have their voices heard.

Make sure everyone arrives on time.

According to Barco’s survey, 11% of meetings are spent waiting for someone to arrive. According to Doodle’s State of Meetings report, one of the main factors that turn a good meeting sour is people arriving late.

Begin your meeting on time and emphasize the importance of punctuality to your employees.

Keep it brief.

Make sure the meeting does not last any longer than necessary. As Apple CEO Tim Cook is famous for saying, “the longer the meeting, the less is accomplished.”

Microsoft discovered that the ideal meeting length for their employees is no more than thirty minutes. Employees naturally transitioned to shorter meetings in order to maximize productivity and move away from time-consuming meetings that negatively impacted employee happiness.

Take notes

Taking notes during your meeting demonstrates that you are paying attention. It also aids in the retention of the information discussed and allows you to easily refer back to it later. Prepare your notes before the meeting and use organizational techniques to optimize your note-taking process to take better notes at your next meeting.

It’s Time to Prepare For Meetings Better

isLucid transcribes your meetings in real time with multilanguage support. You can create tasks or highlight important details through voice commands. Every task integrates with multiple project management and CRM software. IsLucid allows you to create meeting minutes and have a generate meeting minute file after the meeting. You can edit it, add tasks and share it with other employees.

Additionally, with isLucid, people can instantly capture tasks and meeting minutes from transcription, saving 25% of the time for a recap, managing tasks after the meeting, sending follow-up emails, and so on.

If you are interested in isLucid digital meeting assistant, get it for MS Teams and try it for free: isLucid Download Page.

You can also book a demo and get a walkthrough: Book a Demo.

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