Inclusive Meetings

Sometimes meetings can help to break up the workday, inspire us with others’ ideas, and help us see the next steps clearly. Conversely, sometimes meetings can make us wonder why our productivity needed to be interrupted. Making sure that meetings are useful needs to also involve making sure that they are accessible to everyone who could make a valuable contribution.

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, wrote a feature entitled “A Simple Rule to Eliminate Useless Meetings.” The rule boils down to eliminating what would be the “presentation” part of most meetings by providing attendees with the material beforehand. This not only makes meetings more efficient, but allows people to review information at their own pace and in a way that works for them. Provided information should include a mix of words and visual content and be digitally accessible. Assigning a note taker allows people unable to attend the meeting to stay up to speed.

Allowing everyone in a meeting to contribute to the discussion and provide feedback contributes to an inclusive atmosphere in which everyone’s ideas are respected. Near the end of a meeting there should be a summary of its content, confirming action points and accountability. Also before attendees start trying to leave, gathering input on the meeting process can improve productivity and inclusivity in the future. 

Read Weiner’s full article here and consider how to apply its advice to your workplace.