Habits of Highly Effective Meetings

4 arms addressed in professional attire joining together in a "fist-bump."You've likely heard the phrase "death by meetings," but did you know? 

-   The typical American attends 60 meetings/month

-    50% of meeting time is wasted

-    39% of people doze off during meetings

 Here are a few habits I’ve learned which have really cut down meeting times for me and my team:


  • Have an Agenda. Distribute an agenda for every meeting and you’ll be one step closer to efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Set the Tone. State the meeting objective in your agenda and again at the beginning of each meeting.


  • Appoint someone to take notes. This person should record detailed meeting minutes, specifying action items and include deadlines which are discussed. Here are some great and free note-taking templates on the web.
  • Be Present. Ask everyone to turn their devices off to ensure attention is focused on the meeting objectives. This applies to the leader(s) as well.
  • Use a Timer. Most people don’t stop at discussing just the agenda items…

If your team is notorious for going over the allotted time for each item, set a timer for each agenda item and then coach each member to wrap it up when the timer goes off.

  • Know when to move away from a topic – use a parking lot. A parking lot is a reserved space on a white or flip board for items that might not be exactly on-topic, but are still worth discussing. Revisiting the items at the conclusion of the meeting tells attendees that you respect their ideas and that you are considerate of their time.


  • Re-emphasize the objective and discussion points. Close your meeting with a quick summary and plan of action.
  • Ensure important information remains ‘top of mind’. Remind the designated note-taker to send the meeting notes and deadlines to all attendees immediately after the meeting.
  • Follow-up within a week. The meeting host should follow-up on action items within one week and on a weekly basis thereafter.

Use these meeting tips can help you eliminate meeting dread; if you’re lucky, people may even look forward to seeing your meeting notifications pop up on their calendar. Are you a meeting guru? Reply below to share techniques you’ve found to be effective.