Stop Wasting Time: Mastering the Art of Holding Team Meetings

Stop Wasting Time: Mastering the Art of Holding Team Meetings

On average, workers devote 31 hours a month to non-productive team meetings. In addition, research from the MIT Management Review found that only 50% of the time spent in meetings is influential and fascinating.

Furthermore, organizations devote about 15% of their time to meetings. But surveys show that 71% of these meetings are not productive.

With only relatively few meetings, some organizations, unfortunately, run them badly. The question is, how can a single meeting be a waste of time, backfiring as a hassle, and a barrier to achieving an organization’s objectives?

Should There Really Be Team Meetings?

Let’s start by understanding the purpose of a meeting. According to HBR’s “How To Run a Meeting” paper, team meetings have some key functions:

1. The team will learn who they are.

Simply stated, a meeting defines the team, group or unit. Those in the marketing division will feel a sense of belonging to their squad, just like other functions. Everyone can look around, see the entire group and experience the collective identity to which they belong.

2. Meetings are vital to effective teamwork.

A meeting helps people understand how their and others’ work can help the group succeed. It also helps to create a shared understanding of the group’s goals and purposes. By bringing people together, team members can discuss the group’s collective purpose, identify areas of interest and prioritize actions that will contribute to performing dreams.

3. That helps the team do its job smarter.

A meeting is a place for the group to review, update and add their progress. Each group develops its table of knowledge and experience. The table also significantly increases the speed and effectiveness of progress.

4. Meetings can foster commitment and harmonization. 

People may have different views, opinions, and priorities, which may not reflect the decisions or goals of the group. However, they can better understand their views and priorities by meeting and participating in open and honest discussions.

A meeting gives rise to a commitment to the decisions that are taken. Even if some members do not agree, their dedication and the group’s sense of belonging make them accept the decision. 

So, How to Run Team Meetings?

Team meetings can be critical for achieving team goals and objectives. To facilitate an effective team meeting, consider the following steps:

1. Plan the team meetings agenda.

The typical agenda for a team meeting can include a review of the minutes of the previous meeting, updates, action items and tasks, and next steps and adjournment.

2. Invite involved team members.

Invite all required members to the meeting. These may be those who need to contribute or benefit from the topics on the agenda.

3. Get started on time.

Start the meeting on time and take the time to introduce new members or guests.

4. Use visuals.

Consider using visuals such as whiteboards, flipcharts, or presentations to illustrate points or concepts and make the meeting more interesting.

5. Spark the discussion.

Guide the team discussion, ensure everyone gets an opportunity to speak and continue the conversation on the topic. Ensure everybody’s voice is heard.

6. Outline the next steps.

Assign specific tasks or follow-up actions to team members. Then, set clear deadlines and accountabilities.

7. Obtain feedback.

Ask the team for their feedback on the meeting and use this feedback to adjust upcoming meetings.

By taking those steps, we can ensure efficient and productive team meetings and contribute to successful team goals.

Tactical Tips for a Successful Meeting

We’ve taken concrete steps in terms of having team meetings. Now, let’s talk about the key things that help us keep running sessions correctly and efficiently.

1. Make perfect timing.

Especially in remote teams or hybrid work, people are primarily spread out over multiple time zones. Find a time that suits every member of the team. In addition, if we often see that meetings are overflowing, just allow 30 minutes more. If it ends sooner, people will think the forum is saving them time.

There can be two days, Monday and Friday, where meetings may not be compelling. Monday is a day after a long holiday; people may be swamped with their schedules. And on Friday, people may have difficulty dealing with complex issues because of the upcoming weekend, and only some are ready to act immediately.

  1. Appoint a note-taker.

Note-takers play an essential role in a meeting by capturing and documenting the key points, decisions, and action items discussed. Below are some reasons to make notes:

  • Secures accuracy

The note taker helps maintain the exact records and what was discussed during the meeting. It could be any decision or follow-up action taken. It will avoid misunderstanding or confusion afterward.

  • Boosts follow-up

A meeting report can allow team members to follow up on actions or decisions taken during and after the session. It can contribute to moving things forward, and everyone is responsible for their responsibilities.

  • Supports transparency

A meeting report ensures that everyone is on the same page and that decisions are taken in complete transparency. We can also build the trust of team members.

3. Avoid over-inviting guests.

When inviting guests to a meeting, it is essential to be selective. Invite only those in charge who can contribute to the objective of the meeting. Asking too many people can cause a lack of focus and make meeting goals misses.

Before inviting someone to a meeting, ensure that we understand the intent of the meeting. Also, when inviting guests, share their expectations about their attendance at the meeting. Let them know what topics will be discussed, their role, and any preparation they may need to do in advance.


At its core, a meeting is intended to share information effectively and give coverage to discussing the shared issue. As we want our team meetings to be worth it, it is crucial to understand them clearly.