Do you know the difference between an effective meeting and an efficient meeting?  So many articles are written about structuring your meeting in a particular way to make them the most efficient.  Let's face it - we all have too many meetings and a little efficiency would be good right?  I have been in "efficient" meetings and it felt a bit militaristic and not very human-friendly.  We spent more time worrying about structure than we did about the actual topic of the meeting. 

Sarah Goff-Dupont does a great job in this article transforming an efficient meeting into an effective meeting.  She has several great suggestions for keeping a meeting "human" and accomplishing the goals and objectives of the meeting.  

Effective meetings keep attendees engaged

"It’s ok to start the meeting by setting the expectation that everyone is 100% focused on what’s going on in the room. Let the group know that if someone has work that is so pressing they’d be tempted to multi-task, they have permission to go do that work and catch up on what happened in the meeting later. They’ll produce better work, and you’ll have more engaged participants. Win-win"

This is a huge pet peeve of mine:  people on their cell phone or laptop doing other work (or Facebook) while in the meeting.  I once had a direct report who spent the entire meeting tweeting to his friends.  I would have to send him a text message in the middle of the meeting to tell him to put his phone down!  Why bother coming. 


Running effective meetings: a guide for humans - Atlassian Blog

Subscribe now Running effective meetings isn't simply a matter of doing the obvious things like sharing the agenda and starting on time. While those things are important, they're just table stakes. The real key to effective meetings is organizing and running them with a human touch - not like some corporate management automaton.