Calendly is a tool to help you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails, and their philosophy on meetings is aligned with ours here at Mindup. To set a clear goal before the meeting, they recommend asking yourself, “How did the request for the meeting originate?” Think about who requested it and why, how many people actually need to be present, what barriers are standing in the way, and what outcome you are hoping to achieve.
You should be able to describe the purpose of the meeting in one sentence. Share this purpose in your invite to attendees so they understand why they’re invited and how they can prepare for the meeting. If you get an invite without a purpose or your role in the meeting is unclear, decline it. This will help set your meeting culture.
Your meetings should drive at a decision with problem-solving that results in clear actions. Only invite the absolutely necessary people to help make this decision. Calendly recommends limiting the meeting group to five people or less when possible.
Set an agenda and keep it short. Most adults can focus their attention and stay engaged for 10-18 minutes at a time., which is why Calendly’s 18-minute meeting was born. This also gives you padding for your meeting to run longer if needed or a chance to run to the bathroom before your next meeting. See the template for their recommended agenda.
Determine the expectations for the meeting ahead of time, especially for items that cause distractions like computers or phones. Remind everyone of this expectation at the beginning of the meeting.
When the meeting is in session, encourage full participation from every attendee by asking engaging questions, requesting candid feedback, or seeking clarity. Make sure to capture all your notes, action items, and decisions in a place for everyone to come back to. Then, send a recap to all attendees after the meeting and follow-up on action items as needed. Take the time to ask for feedback, reflect on it, and iterate to continually improve your meetings.
Read more for an in-depth look at Calendly’s 18-minute meeting philosophy.