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6 Tips to Run Highly Effective Meetings and Boost Productivity

Have you ever walked out of a meeting feeling like you wasted your time? You're not alone. Research shows that only 50% of the time spent in meetings is effective and engaging. To make matters...

Have you ever walked out of a meeting feeling like you wasted your time? You're not alone. Research shows that only 50% of the time spent in meetings is effective and engaging. To make matters worse, over $37 billion is wasted on unproductive meetings each year.

But fear not! By following these 6 simple strategies, you can plan and host highly effective meetings that leave everyone feeling organized, motivated, and clear on what needs to get done. Let's dive in!

What Makes a Successful Meeting?

Meetings have been an essential part of human interaction for thousands of years. They define the frameworks for our workplaces and foster teamwork and productivity. However, truly effective meetings go beyond just going through the motions. They deliver tangible results and leave participants with clarity and confidence.

6 Tips to Run a Highly Effective Meeting 6 Tips to Run a Highly Effective Meeting, Backed by Science

A successful meeting should:

  • Define a collective identity and individual roles within the team.
  • Inspire creativity and cooperation.
  • Refine ideas into actionable solutions.
  • Clarify collective goals and deadlines.

To achieve these goals, follow these 6 time-tested steps to get organized ahead of time.

6 Simple Steps to Run a Successful Meeting

  1. Define the Meeting Objectives

Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself: "Why do we need this meeting?" Clearly define the purpose and objective. Is it a routine meeting or a strategic one? Each type requires a different approach. By clarifying the objectives, you ensure that the meeting has a clear reason to exist.

  1. Create an Agenda + Send Calendar Invites

An agenda is like a compass that guides the meeting towards its objectives. It helps to keep everyone focused and establishes you as an effective and organized leader. Set a specific time frame for each agenda item to strike a balance between covering all necessary topics and not dragging on.

  1. Create a Safe Space for Collaboration

Effective collaboration can only happen in a safe and comfortable environment. Lay out guidelines for respectful communication. Encourage balanced participation and make sure everyone feels heard. Remember, a positive and collaborative leader sets the tone for the meeting.

  1. Strategically Choose Attendees + Appoint Important Roles

Meetings can be time-consuming and costly. Only invite those who are essential to achieving the meeting objectives. Strike a balance between minimizing attendees and maximizing diverse perspectives. Assign roles such as facilitator, notetaker, and timekeeper to ensure smooth operations.

  1. Best Practices to Stay on Track

Establish ground rules at the beginning of the meeting to minimize side discussions and keep everyone focused. Engage your team by using visuals, asking questions, and avoiding monotonous presentations. Utilize video conferencing to enhance engagement, especially in remote meetings.

  1. End With Clear Actions, Owners, and Timelines

This is the crucial moment where you align on what needs to be done, who is responsible, and when it needs to be completed. By providing crystal clear direction, you ensure that the meeting was not in vain. Show appreciation for everyone's work and end on a positive note.

Deal With Difficult People

Difficult people can disrupt the dynamics of any meeting. It's important to address their behavior swiftly and calmly. Set expectations, encourage open communication, and redirect the focus back to the meeting objectives.


Running highly effective meetings requires thoughtful preparation and organization. By following these tips, you can transform your meetings from time-wasters to productive sessions that propel your team towards achieving business goals. Be the leader who sets the standard for efficient and engaging meetings. Your team will thank you for it!

For further insights on making your meetings even better, check out our article on "17 Easy Ways to Make Your Meetings More Productive."