The secret recipe for successful meetings

While meetings are important tools for communication, collaboration, and production, most of us also see them as something of a chore, not to mention a waste of time and energy. So what’s the secret to a successful meeting?

Nine out of ten people spend their time daydreaming during meetings. That’s the claim Steven G. Rogelberg makes in an interview about his book The Surprising Science of Meetings (Oxford University Press, 2019). What’s more, 25 percent of the time is spent solving problems that aren’t relevant. Why do meetings turn into nightmares, and what can we do to get them back on track?

According to Rogelberg, it all comes down to organization and mindset. First, you’re the bandleader and you’re the one who keeps time — if you bear that in mind, it will optimize everyone’s performance. Many people see meetings as something that interrupts their work, which explains their lack of enthusiasm and why they’re sometimes in a bad mood. Taking part in a meeting that doesn’t concern you directly — and where you spend your time reading your emails — doesn’t make sense and is counterproductive.

An effective meeting is one for which the topics of discussion have been worked out in advance; the goals have been defined and shared; and the aim properly identified — and where there is enough time to process things. So, actually, there is no hidden secret, in case you were expecting a revolutionary new recipe for effective meetings.

And what about you? What are your meetings like?


Learn more : 

Less Fluff, More Stuff: The Science of Productive Meetings” (Knowledge@Wharton, 27 February 2019).