Meetings are a primary process for organizational life. In fact, for many people, attending meetings is what they do during most of the time they spend in the organizational setting. So, it is essential that time spent in meetings be productive if we are to achieve effective individual and organizational performance. This paper has been developed to help you think carefully about the meetings you attend and, perhaps, lead.

First, it is important to think in terms of different kinds of meetings with different kinds of participants and different purposes. Different types of meetings call for different arrangements, time schedules, participants, expectations, follow-through, and so forth. Think about the type of meeting you are planning, and adjust your plans accordingly. Some different types of meetings that organization leaders put together include these:

  1. Quick business meetings (just to check-in, coordinate, share information, prepare for next steps, anticipate customer or employee needs, answer questions for each other, etc)
  2. “Stand-up” meetings (no more than 10 minutes to plan the day, make announcements, set expectations, assure understanding and alignment, identify upcoming difficulties,etc )
  3. Business meetings (with customers, clients, colleagues, etc.; often require etc )
  4. Staff meetings (to clear calendars, coordinate unit activities, share info,etc )
  5. Management Team meetings (to solve problems; make decisions, set policy, etc.)
  6. Interdepartmental meetings (to get input, interpret decisions and policies, share information, etc)
  7. Coordinating meetings (to assure all know what’s happening when and who is


  1. Board meetings (to report results, set policies and directions, scan for needed changes,etc )
  2. Team building meetings (to communicate together, resolve conflicts, share impressions and feelings, gain alignment and commitment to goals, strengthen relationships, clear out debris from disputes, develop or deepen interpersonal trust, etc.)
  3. Project Team meetings (to define results, methods, schedules, responsibilities, policies, etc)
  4. Creative product development meetings (to define new markets, create new products,etc )
  5. Community meetings (to interpret decisions, get input, build relationships, gain trust,etc )
  6. Conferences and Retreats (to share information, work through strategies and tactics, involve people, set long-range directions, work in sub-groups as well as in total group,etc )


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