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Team Meeting Agenda Templates

Our pick of the best templates for team meetings
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Great teams have great meetings

Team meetings are one of the best opportunities to create alignment and visibility across an organization. How they are run can also be massively influential on company culture, enabling culture to be a key driver of success.

We surveyed professionals across many top organizations—including Shopify, Trello, Drift, Miro, Calendly, and Etsy—to figure out how high-performing teams run their meetings.

If organizations with smooth and effective team meetings are more likely to be efficient and productive in other areas too, the opposite is also true. When run poorly, these business meetings can be a big waste of time, and one that sets a dangerous tone for the organization overall. That’s why it is critical to have clear communication about the meeting's purpose, agenda, goals, and what outcomes are expected.

Having a great staff meeting begins before the meeting starts. A well-organized meeting has a solid meeting agenda. Because team meetings are usually recurring (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc...) you should invest in creating an agenda template that lists out common agenda topics. That way you can always be ready for your next meeting.

(Don't worry, we have a lot of agenda templates for you to copy or download as Google Docs, Word Docs (.docx) or use for your meetings in Hugo.) 

A good team meeting template also leaves room to document action items within the meeting notes. If you want tasks from your meeting to get accomplished, make sure you note those action items!

Here we’ve compiled agenda templates for the most common types of team meetings. From quick stand-ups, to weekly planning meetings, brainstorming, and post-mortems, there are a lot of reasons for teams to meet together.

Below you can find a selection of sample agendas for all these common types of team meetings pulled for our free library of 80+ meeting agenda templates. (Or, scroll back up and download the whole bundle of team meeting templates.)


Preview the templates

18-min Meeting

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Introductions and chit chat (2 mins)

Quick opportunity for the team to build rapport and break the ice.

Expectations and purpose (2 mins)

  • What are you looking to achieve in this meeting?
  • What is required from attendees?

Discussion points (10 mins)

  • Attendees to add any applicable discussion points here before the meeting.

Action items (3 min)

Each item should have a clear deliverable, date and person responsible. Which stakeholders will be affected and how will they be informed?

Required resources (1 mins)

  • Include a plan to get these resources in place too.

Add these meeting notes to your project management or meeting notes software and include in follow-up communications

All Activities Retro

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Take stock of the work you performed

Take stock of the events and work you performed. Ashley recommends using Trello. Pull up the calendar view and have each team member make sure that all of the projects they worked on over the previous quarter are represented. It should take about 10 minutes to add all the items to the board.

Label with feelings

Once the team is on the same page and you have a view with all the projects, have everyone go through the ones that belong to them and label it with a feeling. You can start with 5 basic feelings and expand as needed: 

  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Frustrated
  • Proud
  • Indifferent

Review for each team member

Take 15 minutes to go around the room or conference call and have each team member talk a little bit about 2-3 key projects and why they assigned them a certain feeling. It sounds kind of touchy feely, but it’s actually really helpful when you look back over a quarter and you can identify places where you should allocate time elsewhere.

Brainstorm action items

Last but not least, take the last 20 minutes of the meeting and spend some time brainstorming how you could allocate tasks a little differently to maximize positive sentiment across the team. If Tom is stressed out working on user-facing projects and doesn’t enjoy it, maybe there is another team member who is energized by similar projects. Managers should run this discussion, chew on the feedback, and think about action items going into the next quarter.

Brainstorming Session

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Preparation

Attendees

  • Invite stakeholders that are representatives from each discipline that is relevant (design, product, engineering, etc)
  • Assign a facilitator that is neutral to act as the scribe and decision-maker

Space 

  • Choose a spot that the team doesn’t regularly use for meetings. Be sure to have a big blank wall where you can place post-it notes from your brainstorming session

Time

  • Consider one hour for a micro-session, three to four hours for a medium-sized discussion, and a full day for a larger project

To bring

(if this is a virtual meeting try to use online tools to mimic the post-it notes)

  • Chart paper
  • Post-it notes
  • Dot stickers
  • Pens

Brainstorming Session

Break the Ice

Tell me a story about… What did you want to be when you were younger... Where do you want to go on holiday and why? etc. 

To make sure your session remains focused, you should begin with a question. What specifically are you trying to solve?

  1. How can we get people to perform X specific action?
  2. What would lead to increased conversion on X client’s site?
  3. How can we achieve X result?

Establish rules for the session

  • No idea is stupid
  • Postpone criticism. Feel free to ask clarification questions, but wait until the team decides whether to dig into that particular idea to provide any constructive feedback
  • Don't focus on the solution in the early stages of the brainstorm — just focus on the problem
  • You don’t need to raise your hand to speak, but make sure you’re not cutting anyone off
  • No phones or laptops

Brainstorm

A great way to encourage everyone to speak up and to mitigate groupthink is to begin with silence: a solo brainstorm where each individual writes down all of their ideas on post-it notes. This should only last a few minutes. Be sure to use a timer to make sure you stay on track. As people are jotting down their ideas, the facilitator can begin to collect those post-its and start grouping them into themes and concepts onto the whiteboard or blank wall.

Voting

After the initial brainstorming session, it’s often useful to have small, circular colored stickers so that people can vote on their preferred ideas. Consider giving each person a maximum of two stickers (or “votes”) per brainstorming sprint, and dole them out accordingly.

Summarize

The facilitator should paraphrase and synthesize as many of the points as possible to make sure everyone is following.

Prioritize

When the top ideas have been voted upon, it’s time to decide how to take action. Here are two questions the group should determine before leaving the room:

  • What is our deadline? This will vary greatly depending on the scope of the project. It could range from next week to the end of the year. Make sure you choose an ambitious, but achievable, timeframe
  • Who will own this? It could be that the Project Manager will take ownership of each of these line items, but cross-collaboration between teams means there could be multiple stakeholders for each item

Catch-Up Meeting

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Emotional state

Discuss how the time between this meeting and your last one has been. What has excited, frustrated, engaged, or bored you (and the other meeting participants)? 

Relationships

Explore the most recent state of each other’s team relationships. What is your team struggling with? Where are they finding success?

Goals

Review your short and long-term goals. How are you progressing towards them? What short-term goals or interim milestones on long-term goals have you reached?

Feedback & Support

Check in to see how/if you can support the other meeting participants. How can we work together more effectively? How can I support you better?

Open Discussion & Wrap Up

Open discussion. Then, list and assign action items and schedule the next meeting.

Design Workshop

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Preparation

Note any documents that need to be reviewed or activities that need to be completed before the workshop.

Problems

Focus on the customer’s experiences. Prioritize them in order of severity and choose one or two to focus on. Resist the desire to skip ahead to “fixing” until you have organized the problems you are going to solve.

Solutions Brainstorm

It’s time to figure out how to solve the problem, design the flow, or develop the plan.

Brainstorming tips:

  • The more ideas the better!
  • Don’t worry about how feasible an idea is just yet (Expensive ideas may lead to other ideas that fit your resources)
  • Provide sketching materials. Encourage everyone to visualize the solution
  • If the group is large, break into smaller, cross-disciplinary teams and then report ideas back to the group

Size & Prioritize

List your potential solutions in the following format --> Solution | Impact | Effort

  • Rewrite all site copy | medium | medium
  • Leverage API to automate enrollment | medium | large

Do we need to...

  • Gather more evidence? (Can we understand the problem better?)
  • Explore alternate solutions? (We loved these solutions but they’re too big. Let’s find a quicker fix to fit our timeline)
  • Research solution size in more detail? (We need more information to understand which solution requires less effort)

Next Steps

  • @name Task by DUE-DATE

Parking Lot

Store topics and ideas that are out of scope or beyond reach for this workshop.

Employee Onboarding

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Prior to the First Day

Are all relevant resources and materials prepared for the new hire's first day? This includes employee onboarding paperwork, tools they will need access to, and their workstation. Share any resources the new hire should consult before starting.

Company General Information

Share important company information with the new hire. This includes company values, culture, special achievements, and roadmaps for main objectives.

Company Life

Walk the newcomer through a typical week here. Share your insights into office life. Include information such as typical operating hours, where they can park, how they will access the building, and what the company dress code is.

Tour of the Office

Take the new employee on a tour around the office. Let them know where all the important and common areas (e.g., their workspace, bathroom, kitchen, etc.).

Role Responsibilities

Review the new hire's role and responsibilities. Explain expectations, long-term goals, and how they fit into the company's vision. Note everything here to share with them later for easy reference.

Paperwork Review

Review all relevant paperwork like benefits packages. Share this information here so the employee can easily reference it.

Team Introduction

Introduce the new employee to key stakeholders in their role. Assign them a mentor who can assist them in getting up to speed.

Tools & Resources

Share all tools and accounts relevant to the new employee's role. List them here for easy reference.

Reading & Training Material

Is there any training material or required reading? List them here for easy reference. You can share this prior to the first day if appropriate.

Other Discussion Points

Did the new hire raise any interesting questions or noteworthy topics during the employee onboarding process? Note them here.

Main Takeaways

Create a list of takeaways for both the new hire and your team to help get them acclimated.

Next Steps

What's next? Clarify the agenda for the next few weeks as well as the first project for the new employee. Note this information here to share and make actionable.

Follow-Up

Should we schedule a follow-up meeting to check over paperwork and check in on progress?

Feedback

Plan to review the onboarding process over the next 60 days. Regularly check in with the new employee for their opinion. Note opportunities to improve it and make plans to implement them.

Formal Meeting Agenda Template

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Call to Order

A [meeting type] meeting of [organization name] was held on [date] at [location]. It began at [time] and was presided over by [chairperson’s name], with [secretary’s name] as secretary.

Attendance 

Voting members


Guests


Members not in attendance


Approval of minutes

A motion to approve the minutes of the previous [date] meeting was made by [name] and seconded by [name].

Officer’s Reports


Other Reports


Main Motions

  • Motion by [name] and seconded by [name] that [state the motion here]. The motion [carried or failed] with [#] in favor and [#] against.

Announcements


Adjournment

Formal Meeting Minutes

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Call to Order

A [meeting type] meeting of [organization name] was held on [date] at [location]. It began at [time] and was presided over by [chairperson’s name], with [secretary’s name] as secretary.

Attendance 

Voting members


Guests


Members not in attendance


Approval of minutes

A motion to approve the minutes of the previous [date] meeting was made by [name] and seconded by [name].

Officer’s Reports


Other Reports


Main Motions

  • Motion by [name] and seconded by [name] that [state the motion here]. The motion [carried or failed] with [#] in favor and [#] against.

Announcements


Adjournment

General Meeting

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Purpose/Goal

What is the purpose of this meeting?... e.g. Discuss agency performance and decide whether to renew for another year.

--

Agenda

Decisions

Next Steps


Informal Meeting Minutes

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Attendance

Present


Absent


Discussion Topics

  •  

Decisions / Motions


Action Items


Announcements

  •  

Job Interview

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General Information

Background about position and candidate.

Role Details

What key responsibilities, requirements, and skills do you want to verify during this job interview?

Relevant Experience

What previous roles, achievements, or anecdotes make this job candidate qualified for this role?

Relevant Qualifications / Training

What relevant degrees, diplomas, certifications, or training does the job applicant have?

Level of Preparation

How prepared was the applicant for the job interview? This is a great indicator of their interest level in the role.

Career Goals

Where does the job candidate see themselves in a few years? How does this role support their vision?

Attitude / Motivation

What did you think of the candidate's attitude towards the role? Is it conducive to succeeding in this position?

Communication / Listening Skills

How were the candidate's written and verbal communication skills? Did they listen? What percentage of time did they speak vs listen?

General Interest in Company / Role

From 1-5, rate the job candidate's interest in the company and role. Are they excited by the opportunity? Does it align with their career goals?

Cultural Fit

How would the candidate fit in with our culture? Are they someone our team would enjoy working with?

General Screening Questions

Include other general questions you'd like to ask as well as candidate responses here.

Recommendation

Do you recommend we proceed with this candidate?

Pre-Mortem Meeting

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Project overview

Include details of the project here with a link to any additional specification documents. Make sure you note who owns each part of the workload if relevant. This should be filled out in advance, as it sets the context for the rest of the meeting that follows.

Potential outcomes

Start off by thinking critically about the feature or product, laying out possible outcomes for how people might engage with whatever you’re working on. For example, let’s say you are adding a checklist to your product to increase activation. One possible outcome is that users don’t engage with the checklist at all!


Reasons for outcome

Next up it's time to brainstorm the reasons that the previous outcome might occur. Maybe the checklist blends in with the other UI elements? Maybe people see it, but just don't want any guidance. It's important to go broad and generate lots of ideas, especially the negative ones.


Scenario responses

Last but not least, ponder how you would respond to that outcome. If the checklist doesn't stand out among the other elements, would you add more color or make it bigger? Will you cut your losses and try another approach?


Project Check-In Meeting

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Our Objective

Reiterate the objective of the project

Deadlines/Milestones

Include in the agenda high-level milestones

Project Update Roundtable

  • Name
  • Summarize 1-5 updates here in the agenda
  • Name
  • Summarize 1-5 updates here in the agenda

Roadblocks & Risks

  • Where are you blocked? How can the team help?

Next Steps

  • @name Task by DUE-DATE

Project Management Team Meeting

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Lighten the mood

Say hello and add a bit of joy to the meeting. Get everyone to share something fun they did recently, the best thing they ate over the weekend, etc. 

What problem are you trying to solve? 

Write this out. 

There are three main types of meeting goals:

  1. Understanding: Make sure everyone feels like they know what’s going on, inside, and outside the team
  2. Alignment: Make sure everyone on the team is aligned
  3. Connection: Tighten the bonds between everyone on your team

Manager shares useful information

What’s important for the team to know about what’s happening inside and outside of the team?

  • Upcoming changes to the team
  • Updates on planning timelines etc 

Team members useful information

  • Upcoming launches
  • Process changes
  • Learnings, etc

Next Steps 

  • Highlight the main insights from the meeting and the upcoming priorities
  • Clarify who's in charge of completing the next steps and expected completion dates

Quick Stand-Up Meeting

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Name

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What will you do today?
  • Where are you blocked?
  • Comfort Level — How close are we to hitting our goals?

Name

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What will you do today?
  • Where are you blocked?
  • Comfort Level — How close are we to hitting our goals?

Remote All Hands Meeting

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Location

For Town Halls, access the meeting via a video chat. This is a powerful way of creating a shared experience across the entire company, wherever they are. 

Department Updates

Town Halls are a great way to hear about what different teams and departments are working on by setting up demos, or sharing statistics with the entire company. In the absence of in person communication day today, it’s easy to run into the trap of different teams feeling siloed and out of the loop. It is also a good time for management and executives to reiterate the bigger picture in terms of company priorities.

Solidifying Company Culture

The first card read aloud is called Town Hall Announcements. The 10 items in the checklist on this card are akin to the “10 commandments” for the company. These state the core philosophies of the company and the company culture.  At the beginning of each Town Hall, someone reads these 10 principles out loud so that they are reiterated to the entire company. We always have a new hire read the list so that they become familiar with these philosophies. 

An Open Platform For The People

The goal of a Town Hall is to have a transparent company wide meeting with an open forum for any employee to be able to ask questions, voice concerns, celebrate great contributions, or update the company on their work.

Anyone can add a card to Announcements/Questions with the goal of addressing every single card on the list during the town hall. If you add a card to the list, add yourself to the card so that the meeting moderator can call on you when your card comes up.

Celebrate Successes

Town Hall meetings are not all business. The meetings are a rare opportunity when the entire team is together, which is especially novel in distributed companies. Take the time to build your employees up by establishing fun traditions and finding different ways to celebrate successes.

Easy Access Meeting Minutes

Of course, once a town hall is done this doesn’t mean it should be forgotten. Meeting Minutes from the Town Hall should be easily accessed by all employees after the meeting is over.

Senior Leadership Team Meeting

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Engine Dashboard Overview

Have each functional team (sales, marketing, product, etc.) prepare and give an overview of how they're running.

Include:

  • Goal’s and how they're tracking
  • Update on sub-processes
  • Key wins, losses, opportunities, concerns
  • What we're focused on

Observations and Learnings

  • Customer anecdotes 
  • Feedback
  • Other

CTAs / Asks

  • What does each functional team need from the rest of the leadership team
  • Follow-ups and actions (all actions need a directly responsible team member and a due date)

Simple Meeting Minutes

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Meeting type

Check all that apply.

  • Update
  • Discussion
  • Decision

Goal

‍Write the meeting goal here. (E.g. Discuss agency performance and decide whether to renew for another year.)

Agenda

  • Item one
  • Item two
  • Item three

Next Steps

  • @name task by Due-Date

Team Meeting Agenda

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Purpose

Review top-level metrics, coordinate projects, and discuss pressing topics.

--

Agenda

Celebrate wins

Data to review

Updates Roundtable

  1. Name
  2. Name
  3. Name

Discussion Topics

--

Action Items


Team Post-Mortem

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Purpose

Capture learnings from [initiative] and identify what went wrong so we can get better

The Situation

Put all the details of what happened here. Only the facts. Make sure you answer who what where when why. Customer feedback is good to include if we have it. Include any and all mistakes and what went well. Break up into sections, like “research” “engineering” “customer feedback” “the feature” “marketing efforts” etc.

The results

What happened as a result of the situation? This could include how an initiative performed, what happened as a result of a bug, how a feature fared, etc. Support this section with data

What went wrong

All the details of what went wrong. Opinions are welcome here. Be fair to other people who were involved and let them add to the postmortem or give you context as needed. In the case of bugs, what we could have done better to prevent a problem can be included here as well.

What we can do better next time

Whatever we learned that will affect how we do things next go around, it goes here. This is the synthesis of everything we’ve figured out from doing the postmortem.

Action items

Any action items we have, and who owns each of them, plus dates if possible

Weekly Meeting

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Team Review

Share updates on overall progress, key metrics, and anecdotes to give your team an up-to-date understanding of current initiatives.

Individual Updates

Allow each team member to briefly share what they've been working on. This includes progress, obstacles, achievements, and any other information that would be valuable for the team.

Positive Highlights

Acknowledge big wins and milestones accomplished since the last weekly meeting. What valuable lessons were learned?

Roadblocks & Concerns

Have any issues or challenges come up since the last weekly meeting? Are there any particular problems a team member is stuck on? How can we help solve them?

New Information

Are there any new metrics, trends, customer feedback, or market influences we should be aware of? What about company announcements or industry news? Share any resources that would help the team understand these concepts better.

Other Important Notes

Summarize any other valuable information that was shared. It does not have to be directly related to the weekly meeting agenda.

Upcoming Priorities

What are the main priorities we should focus on for next week? How are we planning to approach these? What does success look like?

Main Takeaways

What were the main insights from this weekly meeting? Include key decisions made, progress reports, and any opportunities, issues, or concerns that should be shared with colleagues.

Share

List all key stakeholders not present and other departments that this information should be shared with.

Take Action

Clarify next steps for the entire team as well as each individual. Note who's completing them, and when they should be done by. You can assign these tasks from this template.

Weekly Team Meeting

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Say Hi

Make sure everyone's here and ask for a volunteer scribe.

Kickoff each meeting with a quick update from each team

If anyone else has any questions about something relating to one of the other teams, now is your chance to ask. (2 min per update)

  • Marketing
  • Design
  • Data & Analytics
  • Product Managers
  • Community
  • International

Go through the items that people added to the agenda

Ask whoever added the item to introduce it and lead that part of the conversation. 

Sum up next steps/actions

  • Clarify what actions need to be taken and assign a responsible person for each task
  • Choose someone else on the team to be meeting lead next time and add it to next week's agenda

Working Group Meeting

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Attendees

A working group is a defined set of people, usually coming from multiple teams or disciplines to fix a common business challenge.

Define the problem

Review the goal at the beginning of every meeting to remind group members of what they’re trying to achieve. Since the problems you’re tackling can be broad and fuzzy, having an explicit goal can also help you decide what is and isn’t the responsibility of the group.

Review past decisions

  • Have you fixed the problem you set out to solve?
  • Has the problem been solved another way?
  • Has the company changed? Have its needs changed?
  • Is the group still the most effective way to solve this problem?

Here are some questions to fill in to see how your solutions fit into your wider goal (check out how Etsy used this method to define "design excellence" for their team) 

  • What motivates this work?
  • What are the goals of this solution?
  • What characteristics should the solution exhibit?
  • Who should benefit from this solution?
  • What informs this solution?
  • When and where should this solution be used?

Set milestones

“In order to be effective, the group has to ship; in order to ship, milestones should be established from the beginning.” Without delivery dates in place, it is impossible to create an action plan that accurately reflects the speed in which you must be working to achieve your goals. 

Team

Agenda Template FAQs

How do you prepare for a customer meeting?

Whether your next customer meeting is your first or 15th with that client, you need an agenda. To build an agenda, you focus should be on answer these three questions:

  1. What is the current state of the customer’s progress toward their goals?
  2. What issues need to be solved to move the customer closer to their goals?
  3. How can these issues be solved?

How to specifically structure your agenda may vary based on your customer, but our library of 80+ meeting agenda examples should give you a good starting point.

How do you start a customer meeting?

As you get your meeting started, you want to grab everyone’s attention, set expectations, and then launch right into it!

  1. While small-talk is great for building rapport before a meeting, don’t let the chatter go on more than a couple of minutes into the official meeting time
  2. If there are participants who don’t know each other, introduce them (and yourself!)
  3. As you get the meeting started, reaffirm why you’re meeting, and what everyone will get out of it. Spending 20 seconds summarizing the agenda shows that you have and plan and you’re in control
How do you end a customer meeting?

As you wrap up your customer meeting, you should revisit any action items you’ve noted during the meeting and affirm that you’re on top of things. This is a good time to note who will be responsible for what, and when the customer can expect an update.
Then, end on a positive note, showing enthusiasm for your partnership and thanking your customer for their time.

How do you have an amazing first client meeting?

Relax and smile
You may be stressed in an attempt to get started on the right foot. Don’t let that impact your body language (even on video conferencing).
 
Offer something of value for free
In addition to any materials in your welcome package, set the stage for a strong relationship by making an offer. This could be a resource, like a research or an ebook, or it could be to set up a training or consultation. It could even be minor, like providing advice based on the customer and your experience with other customers like them. Whatever it is, find a way to show your client that you’re deeply invested in their success.

Listen more than you speak
You may have landed this client, but you still have a lot to learn about their expectations, goals, and priorities. Ask a lot of questions, and listen actively. Even if you think you already know the answers, being a good listener will help build rapport, and you never know—you may learn something incredibly valuable after all.

Be specific about what you offer and how you can help
A common pitfall in initial client meetings is to be overly general. Instead, now is the time to be specific. What exactly will you do together? Who, how much, how often, measured in what way?

Do you have a guide to running great customer meetings?

As a matter of fact, we do. This short, downloadable guide walks you through running a customer meeting that both strengthens customer relationships and improves company wide collaboration.

Get your free download:
The Art of the Customer Meeting.

How do you run a design meeting?

How to run your design meeting will depend a lot on what kind of design meeting it is. Is this a sync up between just a PM (or other product owner) and the designer? Is it a weekly meeting for the design team? A critique? Or is it a cross-functional meeting, with many stakeholders present?
 
Each of these types of meetings requires a slightly different approach. What is common between them, is a need to be upfront and clear about what the goals of the meeting are (and what they aren’t).

For example, here are some typical examples of design meetings:

  • Brainstorm approaches for an early design
  • Seek feedback on an in-progress design
  • Get buy-in on a nearly completed design
  • Plan, decide, and organize your team’s design process
Should non-designers be invited to a design meeting?

Successful design projects usually need involvement from other stakeholders, but too much meddling can throw a wrench in the design process. As a general rule (that can sometimes be broken), input from non-designers is the most helpful at the beginning and end of a design process.

Early in the project, in the research phase, non-designers can be incredibly helpful. They can clarify how a design will be used, describe customer needs, and reveal requirements that might not be obvious about how the design should be used. If designers have experimented with multiple approaches to a problem, it can be useful to share these sketches early on.

Once the design specifications are clear, however, it’s often a good idea to let designers and project people iterate through the problem in a small team with minimal distraction. It’s during this time that small details can become a distraction for non-designers.

When a design is nearly complete, it’s once again helpful to invite key stakeholders to make sure the design is successful, and get buy-in before more resources are invested in making the design come to life.

How do you have a good team meeting?

Consider what can be removed from your agenda… and your invite list
Possibly the most common complaint about team meetings is that they are a waste of time. So the first step toward having a good team meeting is asking yourself whether everything on your agenda needs to be part of the meeting, and whether everyone needs to be there. By keeping a tight agenda and a smaller group, you’re sending a signal that people’s time is important.

Share your agenda in advance
Speaking of agendas, be prepared. Share your agenda in advance, so that the rest of the team know what will be discussed. This way, they can prepare their thoughts, and the meeting will run smoothly. If you surprise people with topics, those parts of a meeting can take longer.

Let other people talk
Many leaders and executives make the mistake of thinking that if they are running a meeting, they need to talk the whole time. Instead of Presenting on a topic for 30 or 60 minutes, structure your meeting so that others participate and even take the spotlight. 

For a more in-depth structure to follow, check out Vital Meetings, the free guide to having shorter, fewer, and better meetings.

How do you make sure real decisions are made in executive meetings?

With executive time being so valuable, it’s important that exec meetings focus not on information sharing, but rather on discussion that leads to decision-making.

One strategy that works here, is to use action-oriented agendas. For example, instead of an agenda item called, “Priorities for next quarter” make a bold statement on your agenda: “Decide on top 3 priorities for next quarter.” This leaves no wiggle room for failing to meet the goal of the meeting.

If you’re a manager or leader, how much time should you spend in meetings?

If you take a look inside a manager’s calendar, it’s not uncommon to see 50-90% of their time blocked off in meetings. At first glance, this seems to make sense. If your primary function is leadership, should you spend the majority of your time with others? However, this kind of distribution often doesn’t leave enough time for strategic thinking and planning.

If you’re attending lots of meetings out of a need to stay in the loop, a better approach is to ask your team to take notes on important meetings, and share them with you (and other relevant stakeholders). A meeting management platform like Hugo can help, and many managers whose teams use Hugo report spending 20-50% less time in meetings because they can rely on skimming notes for less important meetings instead.

What is an HR meeting?

HR (human resources) is responsible for supporting recruitment, hiring, training, and managing. HR professionals meet with job applicants and current workers to support these goals in a variety of meetings, ranging from job interviews, to trainings, to one-on-one coaching sessions.

What should you do if HR wants to meet with you about your behavior?

If your behavior at work is in the process of being addressed, you may need to meet with HR. This can be a stressful situation, but ultimately, if you handle yourself professionally, you should be able to come out of the meeting in good shape (and keep your job).

Here are a key tips to keep in mind:

  • Request examples of behaviors that need to be addressed
  • Write down any specific requests
  • Ask for clarification to avoid misunderstandings
  • Listen and repeat back what you hear to show you are listening
  • Take ownership of your mistakes
  • Ask for help if you need it
  • Show your commitment by setting clear next steps
  • Stay positive (and avoid being defensive)
  • Say thank you. Be gracious for the opportunity to improve
How do I tell my boss about a bad co-worker?
  • Schedule a meeting so that you know you have private time set aside to have the conversation
  • Focus on the behavior, not the person. Avoid personal attacks and instead focus on what they are doing
  • Show up prepared. Put some thought into what you want to say. Taking notes about the behavior in question may help
  • Stick to the facts, and not what you think someone is thinking/feeling
  • Keep a cool head. Even if the issue is serious, try to avoid arguing, shouting, and cursing
  • Request help in finding a solution
How should you handle yourself in an HR meeting?
  • Focus on the facts of the situation
  • Be calm, even when under pressure
  • Consider other people’s points of view
  • Be aware of negative body language
  • Practice good listening. (Don’t cut anyone off)
  • Make sure your effort matches the importance of the issue. (Don’t go crazy over something small)
Who should be at a marketing meeting?

Invite necessary decision-makers, but don’t cast too wide of a net. Since marketing often involves or impacts a lot of departments, it can be tempting to invite a lot of people to some marketing meetings. Instead, try to pair it down. If someone is being invited to the meeting only as an FYI, send them meeting notes instead.

How do you set an agenda for a marketing meeting?

The common structure for many marketing meetings is the following:

What are common types of marketing meetings?
How do you make team meetings more engaging?

The best meetings involve the whole room, not just one or two presenters. Here are a few ways to encourage more engagement:

  • Ask others to contribute to the agenda. Having a shared agenda helps everyone in the room feel responsible for the meeting’s success.
  • Make small talk as people are settling in. When you show up early, get the conversation flowing instead of burying your head in your laptop or your phone.
  • Don’t do all the talking. Invite fellow participants to lead discussions and provide updates.
  • Give updates before the meeting. Provide materials to review before the meeting so that you can focus on the discussion and decision-making when everyone is together.
  • Do a deep dive into one topic. Focus on a single challenge to tap into the collective intelligence of everyone attending.
  • Keep a sense of humor. Cracking the occasional joke will help meeting participants feel open to expressing their own ideas.
What agenda topics are most common in team meetings?

Team meetings are among the most common and most important meetings in any workplace. Agendas for these types of meetings range wildly, but all topics usually fall into one of these categories:

  • Introductions. If they don’t already, make sure everyone in the room knows who each other are.
  • Updates. Updates are extremely common in team meetings, but often they are also the hog a lot of time without providing a lot of value. Summarize updates on the agenda when possible and keep them brief.
  • Discussions.
  • Decisions. If a decision needs to be reached during the meeting, note it explicitly on the agenda.
  • Next steps. While not a significant part of the agenda, it’s important to always agree on action items from a meeting and who owns them.
What are some fun and cool team meeting ideas?
  • Go around the table with an icebreaker. Get to know each other by having everyone answer the same question.
  • Change up the location. Get out of the conference room and into the break room, or on the lawn outside.
  • Start at a weird time. Pick something memorable like 1:23 pm.
  • Get some exercise. Switch things up during a long meeting by having everyone take a run around the block, do as many pushups they can do, or some other physical activity to get the blood pumping.
  • Pass out prizes. Have a pile or swag, or candy bars, or coffee gift cards up at the front of the room. Whenever someone makes a spectacular contribution, toss them a prize.
What are good questions to ask in a one-on-one?

Personal/rapport-building:

  • What worries you? What keeps you up at night?
  • What are you most excited about?
  • How’s life outside work?
  • What do you like to do on the weekends?
  • Do you feel like you’re making progress on your career goals?
  • What are your big dreams in life outside of work?

Career growth:

  • What skills would you like to develop?
  • Do you feel challenged in your role?
  • Is there any training or education we should be investing in for you?
  • How do you see your role evolving?
  • Do you feel like you’re making progress on your career goals?
  • Who in the company would you like to learn from?

Giving/receiving feedback:

  • Do you feel you’re getting enough feedback?
  • What’s an area where you would like help or coaching?
  • What’s an aspect of your job you’d like to improve?
  • How can I help you be more effective?
  • What is something I can do better?
  • What have past managers done that you’d like me to do as well?
Why have one-on-ones with your employees?

One-on-one meetings have many benefits:

  • Help employees build better relationships with their managers 
  • Provide opportunities for coaching and training
  • Encourage employees to feel valued at work
  • Discuss performance and areas of improvement
  • Find out what employees are (and are not) excited about
  • Learn how managers can better help employees
Who should set the agenda for a one-on-one meeting?

It’s good for the employee to feel ownership of their one-on-one because the meeting is primarily for their benefit. So, rather than having a manager set the agenda every time, the majority of the agenda should be driven by the employee. Of course, there should still be opportunities for managers to lead the conversation, especially when it comes to topics like coaching and performance. Using a meeting notes app that allows for easy, collaborative agendas can help.

Should one-on-one be hyphenated?

Yes. The word one-on-one is always hyphenated, regardless of whether it is used as a noun, adjective, and adverb.

What are other ways to spell one-on-one?

Writing all three hyphenated words out as one-on-one can be tedious. For brevity in your calendar invites, try using: "1:1" or "Name <> Name."

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