The dreaded meeting. What could make meetings more interesting to attend? To make meetings something that employees actually look forward to going to, rather than something they completely dread, meetings need to have a focused intent, start on time, and elicit feedback at the end. That sounds simple enough, but there are many stumbling blocks on the way there.

Downsize to Think Big

The head of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has the two-pizza rule that he follows for meetings – if the total number of people at the meeting can’t be fed with two pizzas, then there are too many people at the meeting. Too many people can lead to groupthink and a lack of real collaboration.

Match Meeting’s Tenor to Needs

If you’re looking to get a brainstorming session going on what kinds of products to come out with for next quarter, then you want an environment with more of an open-ended, spontaneous feel.

Conversely, if you need to get something specific done in an allotted amount of time with a known amount of resources, then you need a meeting with a more rigid agenda and stricter time limit.

Turn Off Devices

Smartphones can be extremely distracting. Turn them off during meetings to maintain focus and stay on track.

Have a Singular Purpose

Meetings should ideally boost morale and bring a common sense of purpose to whatever projects are being undertaken in the workplace. The way to get everyone on board from the beginning is to pass around an agenda before the meeting so that everyone knows where the meeting is generally headed and preparation can be done accordingly.

By having an agenda making the office rounds before the meeting, you’ll save a lot of time and, therefore, have fewer meetings that nonetheless pack more punch when they do occur. Having someone keep a record of everything that occurs at the meeting and which person is going to do which task also provides meetings with a proactive edge.

The beauty of having a record of your meeting is that there won’t be any ambiguity about who’s to do which assignments. Email the record around the office so that everyone’s role is clear and you can proceed with one singular purpose.