The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Meeting
Work meetings. Know the feeling?
Know the feeling?

Here's a shocking statistic: 127% of people hate meetings. Ok yes, I made that up. But have you ever met someone who genuinely liked to attend meetings? Ever asked a colleague how their day was going only to hear, "Oh fine, but I really wish I had more meetings scheduled." Me neither.

The fact is, meetings are necessary to a successful business. Done well, they provide a productive place for collaboration, creative problem solving, and interesting new ideas that propel your organization forward.

So how do you host meetings that make people say, "That was a great meeting!" without a trace of sarcasm? Use this collection of advice from top business leaders, insights from leading psychologists, and the latest meeting trends and tools.

Use Basic Psychology to Improve Your Meetings

  • You Are Where You Sit - Next time you attend a meeting, look around the room and take note of where everyone's seated. It turns out, where you choose to sit during meetings reflects your personality and team dynamics. Learn how to shuffle seating arrangements to improve team relationships and results.
  • Standing Meetings May Improve Group Productivity - Learn the psychology behind why all your meetings should be standups, including why a simple change like taking away the table and chairs can make your team meetings more collaborative and creative (not to mention quicker).
  • Why Meetings Kill Productivity - According to University of Minnesota psychologist Kathleen Vohs, everyone has a limited amount of cognitive resources — and once they're depleted, we start making bad decisions. Use these 7 principles to ensure your team leaves every meeting feeling motivated and productive, instead of mentally exhausted.
  • Silencing Groupthink In Your Organization - Discover how to eliminate the dangers of groupthink from your team meetings, along with how to incorporate disagreements and differing points of view productively.
  • 4 Ways Introverts Can Get Heard in Meetings - Use these tips to take advantage of diverse personalities and points of view within your team, including unconventional ways to engage introverts during team meetings.

Innovative Meeting Ideas Worth Stealing

Meeting Trends to Follow

  • Use Dashboards - Keep your meeting focused on metrics and make progress measurable with shared dashboards. Since real-time project dashboards eliminate the need for routine status updates, you can devote precious meeting time to important discussions and decision making. This whitepaper covers 5 best practices for meeting dashboards so you can use them effectively.
  • Incorporate Visuals - Management consultant and author Dan Roam says adding visuals like doodles, mindmaps, and rough mockups to your meetings stimulates a new part of the brain and keeps your team engaged. Here are 8 tips to get started incorporating visuals into your routine meetings.
  • Focus on Action Items - Make all your meetings productive by ending them with one question: who will do what by when? Wrike's productivity coach Errette Dunn explains why this is his #1 meeting tip in this short video.
  • Mobile-friendly Meetings - With remote teams becoming more common, meetings are going mobile. Even if your team normally works from the same office, make it easy for everyone to call in from their mobile devices from commuter trains, client meetings, and airports and participate via Skype, GoToMeeting, or another virtual meeting app.
  • Make Meetings Fun! - Entrepreneur's 7 simple ideas will inject some life and laughter into ho-hum meetings.

Tips for Virtual Meetings

  • 4 Problems with Virtual Meetings that You Can Fix - Want to avoid the gaffes mentioned above? Take a look at these quick fixes and practical tips for virtual meeting challenges.
  • 3 Virtual Meeting Horror Stories & Tips for Avoiding Them - Participants talking over each other, periods of awkward silence, projector or PowerPoint glitches — in-person meetings have plenty of challenges. Add in a bunch of live video cameras and microphones and you've got a recipe for potential embarrassing moments. Steer clear of regrettable blunders with these tips.

Meeting Tools & Checklists

  • Should We Have This Meeting? (Infographic Decision Tree) - The #1 most common piece of meeting advice: don't have so many! Decide which meetings are actually worth hosting with this simple flowchart, which gives you a definitive "yes!" or "no!" on whether you really need to hold that meeting.
  • A Checklist for Planning Your Next Meeting - Harvard Business Review's productive meeting checklist makes meeting planning quick and easy.
  • Doodle.com - Find a date and time that works for all participants with this easy scheduling system.
  • 5 Best Video Conference & Meeting Apps for Your Team - After trying so many different tools to run virtual meetings and sync with our teammates around the globe, we collected 5 of our favorite meeting apps and detailed each one's strengths.
  • World Clock Meeting Planner - If you've got a team that spans multiple time zones, organizing a meeting that suits everyone's schedules can be a giant headache. This site lets you input up to 12 cities and see times that are convenient for everyone.
  • How to Lead Weekly Meetings in Wrike - Wrike's work management tool has many uses, including a simple way to run routine meetings right from your team's shared workspace.

Share Your Best Meeting Tips

What works for your team? What made some of the worst meetings you've had to sit through so unbearable? Share your advice for what to do and what to avoid with fellow readers in the comments below. Image Credit: Meeting Table by mnadi on Flickr. Some rights reserved. Changes made.
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