How to Have Goal-Oriented Meetings

Across industries and departments, these are some common meeting topics with defined and specific purposes. Here are some types of meetings to help you clarify the results you’re looking for:

THE DECISION-MAKER
These are the meetings where important decisions are made. People can better explain their arguments in person, so these meetings provide that opportunity. The purpose of this meeting is to come to a decision.

NOTE: Not all decisions require meetings. If the decision-maker doesn’t need or desire additional input, they are better off deciding on their own and updating team members. Additionally, filtering low-stakes decisions through meetings creates a bottleneck effect that slows down processes throughout the organization.

THE PLANNER
These meetings establish milestones, define tasks, and divvy up responsibilities for new projects. In-person planning allows team members to set expectations and forge relationships, which facilitates other forms of communication that will be essential as the project develops. The purpose of this meeting is to formulate an action plan.

THE IDEA GENERATOR
Brainstorming sessions allow teams to collaboratively propose multiple solutions to a problem. The team should then decide which solutions warrant further exploration and assign tasks to each person, such as researching a new tool, contacting suppliers, or creating a budget. Similar to the planner meeting, the purpose of this meeting is to come up with an action plan.

THE CHECK-IN
Team and project check-ins aren’t always necessary, but they can be useful. The purpose of this meeting is to ensure everyone is on the same page.

NOTE: If meeting leaders suspect some employees find these meetings unproductive, consider making them optional. This allows employees to opt out during busy weeks. Make sure nobody is penalized for missing optional meetings.

Now that you’ve determined the goal of your meeting, how will you maximize attendees’ time and reach your ultimate destination? Download a free copy of our eBook, Meetings with Meaningful Dialogue, for free on our website.