A Group of People Having a Meeting in the Office

10 Most Common Types of Meetings (& How to Get Them Right)

Meetings are an essential part of your business. However, they can be painful if they’re poorly organized and handled. If you’re in charge of facilitating a meeting, there are several things you should make sure are taken care of. 

Make sure the right people are present and you’ve set goals and expectations. That way you have all the necessary materials ready to go so that time isn’t wasted during the meeting itself.

This list outlines 10 of the most common types of meetings in a company. We'll also outline what makes them productive. That way your next meeting goes as smoothly as possible.

1) Kick-Off meetings

Number of Participants: 10 - 20

Intention: Go over the game plan for a new project.

A kick-off meeting draws out the game plan to execute a project. It also introduces members of a new project or organization to one another. 

They go over exactly what needs to be done for the project to go well. They explain what everyone’s role in the project is, why they’re involved, and how they can be helpful. 

These meetings are particularly important. They should kick off your project in the right direction. It’s imperative that each individual knows exactly what they need to do for the project to be a success.

Tips to stay productive: 

  • Have some icebreakers prepared for the group. This gives them a chance to become familiar with each other before working more closely.

  • Give people a chance to air questions or concerns about their project. 

  • It’s crucial that these meetings happen before any work begins. That way everyone knows exactly what they need to do moving forward.

2) Brainstorming Meetings

Number of Participants: 5-15

Intention: Come up with a variety of ideas to explore every possible solution.

Brainstorming meetings help get team members’ creative juices flowing. They are an effective way to jump-start creativity. Sometimes these meetings can lose steam if there isn’t a set process in place. 

Make sure everyone has equal say in brainstorms. Start with one person. Have them throw out ideas and then ask other members to share their thoughts on those ideas. 

This approach promotes participation. It helps keep brainstorming focused by letting all possible ideas into the air. 

Brainstorming meetings don’t need anything other than some willing participants. A place where everyone can sit comfortably doesn’t hurt either.

After this meeting, you can go into a problem-solving meeting. There you can zero in on realistic solutions.

Tips to stay productive: 

  • Encourage participants to be as creative as possible. Keep “being realistic” to the problem-solving meeting.

  • Have each participant write down their ideas and give them a time limit to share with the group. Create a safe space for people to voice their ideas without being judged.

3) Problem-Solving Meetings

Number of Participants: 4-8

Intention: Zero in on one specific issue.

In problem-solving meetings, there’s a specific issue that needs to be dealt with. People are going to sit down and come up with definite solutions to problems. This will usually come after a brainstorming meeting.

Participants will work together as a group to narrow down solutions. The group will try different ideas until they find one that works best. Then they will set a date for a decision-making meeting to make a final verdict.

Tips to stay productive: 

  • Rule out unrealistic ideas from the brainstorming session quickly.

  • Make sure everyone involved is aware of what needs to get done. Let them know how many options you want them to try before moving on.

  • Set a time limit to get towards a solution. This will encourage the group to focus on creating results.

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4) Decision-Making Meetings

Number of Participants: 4-6

Intention: Make a solid decision on important topics.

In a decision-making meeting, the discussion is centered on a final solution to a problem. The goal is to reach a definite agreement on which decision or action to take. 

These meetings are valuable because they lead to a solid resolution. Decisions made in these meetings should not be changed. 

You should be down to two or three possible solutions. These should come out of the problem-solving meeting.

The goal of these types of business meetings is to nail down a realistic solution to a problem. 

  1. Identity what the possible solutions are. 

  2. Go around and get feedback from the group about their opinions on each solution. 

  3. Make a final decision on a definite solution based on the group’s feedback.

  4. Schedule a Kick-Off meeting to get everyone on the same page within the organization.

Tips to stay productive: 

  • Make one person the final decision-maker. Make sure that person will be open to logical feedback as well.

  • Keep in mind that there is a probability that not everyone will agree on the final decision.

  • Save a few minutes in the end to give everyone a chance to share how they will be implementing the decision.

5) Quarterly Planning Meetings

Number of Participants: 4-6

Intention: Set goals for the upcoming quarter. Review progress of goals from the previous quarter.

This is one of the most important meetings your company can hold. These types of meetings should be formal in operation. They will outline plans to carry out solutions from the decision-making meetings. 

This is also the time to schedule information meetings for new problems that may have come up. Ideally, each business quarter will have its own individualized plan. 

These meetings are held between managers and supervisors. They’re held on a regular basis throughout the year.

The purpose of these meetings is for everyone on your team to get on the same page. These could contain goals, expectations, and objectives for an upcoming quarter. 

These meetings help keep teams to move in sync with one another. Group members are able to share what they’ve accomplished in previous quarters. Highlight topics to go in-depth on in the next information meeting.

Tips to stay productive:

  • Make sure everyone knows what their responsibilities are for the quarter. 

  • Highlight team members who performed well last quarter. 

  • Create an agenda with specific topics written out in advance. 

6) Information Meetings

Number of Participants: 4 - 6

Intention: Highlight key points of new information. Get your team educated about changes.

This meeting is all about exchanging information. This can include everything from simple, short question-and-answer sessions to multi-part series. Go in-depth about the new information that was highlighted in the quarterly meeting.

Use this meeting to identify the causes and effects of new changes and problems. Thoroughly explain how this new information will affect your company. 

At the end of this meeting, you can prioritize the most urgent problems to tackle immediately. Schedule a brainstorming session to start thinking of solutions.

Tips to stay productive:

  • Have slides and handouts prepared that highlight key information. 

  • Wait until all of the information has been presented before taking questions.

7) Status Update Meetings

Number of Participants: 10 - 20

Intention: Present updates on what each member is focusing on.

The processes set in place from the decision-making meeting will be discussed. These processes will have been relayed to all relevant employees at this point. There will be a general overview of how the team is performing.

Each supervisor should hold these types of meeting with their team of employees. The supervisor will facilitate the meeting. 

They will give an update on what the team is doing well. They will also reiterate what each member needs to be doing to meet a common goal.

Tips to stay productive: 

  • Give a chance for one or two top-performing members of the team to share what’s been working.

  • Save some time for questions at the end.

8) Check-In Meetings

Number of Participants: 10 - 20

Intention: Voice opinions on specific processes. Assess the strength of morale within your team.

Check-in meetings are where all participants go around. They share a bit about what they’re working on. Your team can discuss which processes are working and which ones aren’t.

These are a little different from status update meetings. Check-Ins are more about group participation than the supervisor giving updates. 

They don’t really have a goal or agenda. Everyone is encouraged to speak their mind. This will they can learn about one another’s strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. 

This should be a short meeting to assess how things are going. Don't wait before work gets backed up. 

A check-in meeting is a good idea when there are several people working together toward one goal. Also include those with overlapping responsibilities. There will be less time wasted in communication down the road.

Tips to stay productive:

  • Discuss what went well last week as a group. Have a few participants talk about something specific that contributed to the success.

  • Share any upcoming events or deadlines for upcoming projects with all team members.

  • Don’t let the meeting get overly negative or a place to complain. Focus on solutions.

9) One On One Meetings

Number of Participants: 2

Intention: Obtain feedback on specific areas of improvement for a team member.

This kind of meeting has a set agenda. It usually is held to address problems that are specific to an individual’s work. 

One-on-one meetings allow for individual discussions. They provide an opportunity for feedback. It creates an environment to solve immediate problems and define career goals. 

One-on-one meetings are useful for tasks such as: 

  • Coaching employees 

  • Helping resolve conflicts between coworkers 

  • Discussing issues that arise in a team

Attendees at one-on-one meetings may have different roles within a company. This may depend on their status and may include manager, employee, or executive.

Tips to stay productive: 

  • Schedule them in advance with each attendee. This gives them enough time before and after them to take care of necessary tasks.

  • Focus on what they are doing well before diving into criticism. It helps the employee know that they’re adding value to the team. They will use your suggestions to work harder instead of using them as an excuse to not try.

10) Team Building Meetings

Number of Participants: 10 - 20

Intention: Built connection and cooperation within your team.

These meetings give employees a chance to interact. They're a great way to bring them together. These are typically informal gatherings. They provide an opportunity for team members to build relationships with one another. 

Try using role-playing activities to create a sense of urgency. An example of this type of meeting could be solving a puzzle together or having a show and tell. 

Try to pick something challenging yet fun. It helps your employees work through issues that affect productivity. 

Make sure your meeting room is large enough for everyone to participate. As juvenile as these things may seem, they are sure to create connections.

Tips for staying productive: 

  • Every member of your team should walk away feeling like they’ve worked together toward a common goal.

  • Save food until the end.

  • Create a fun environment.

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What Makes a Productive Meeting

As your business grows, the number of meetings you hold will increase as well. There are certain steps you can take to make sure that each meeting you host has a productive outcome. 

1) Set Goals Before The Meeting

Come up with specific outcomes that you want to accomplish at your meeting. An outcome is a tangible result from your meeting. This may be identifying new marketing tactics or deciding on a new logo design. 

2) Start On Time

Being decisive about start and end times will make your meetings more productive. This gives everyone a concrete timeframe to work with.

3) Keep It Short

The shorter your meetings, the more likely people are to show up. They will pay attention and bring their full selves. 

Meetings that are too long can overwhelm employees. Especially when these meetings are very frequent. 

It may cause them to burn out and disengage while key information is being discussed. Aim for 40 minutes (for weekly/monthly meetings) or 60 minutes (for biweekly/quarterly ones).

4) Stay On Track

Keep the focus on what issue or question is most important for everyone to work through. An agenda is needed to conduct a purposeful meeting. Clearly state it at the outset of your meeting. 

Sometimes your group may be led on a tangent about things that are not related to the focus of the meeting. Be able to identify when this happens so you can reel the group back in on the topic. 

5) Avoid Overcrowding the Meeting

Harvard Business Review published an interesting story about this. They found that groups of 5 to 8 people create the most productive meetings. Meetings with more than eight people produced fewer ideas. They also made fewer decisions than in smaller meetings. 

Groups of 10 or more reported lower morale and trust for their coworkers afterward. Keep your meeting size reasonable, so you don’t run out of steam (or ideas).

Final Thoughts

Now you have been enlightened about different types of meetings in project management. You also have some very important tips to remember to make sure they are effective. To increase the effectiveness of your meetings even further, you can use Notta

Notta is a voice-to-text application that will transcribe your meetings to text. This way you can highlight key points of your meeting and send them to your team.

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