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Sirius Meeting Tips


We've written down some of our best meeting tips to share with you. Click here for a printable version.  

Agenda & Focus

  1. The agenda is the meeting map
  2. Every meeting needs a defined purpose and goals
  3. Agenda items should be specific and outcome-based
  4. Determine deliverable for every agenda item (i.e.: plan, decision, gain, ideas, etc)
  5. Time frames for each agenda item increases efficiency and reduces tangents.
  6. Listen well and bring meeting back to topic when it drifts off course.
  7. Use meetings to build team
  8. Use timer to limit discussions with visible timeframes.


  1. Starting on time sends a strong message & establishes the norm
  2. With a new project, establish some team ground rules for meetings and working together
  3. People are meeting participants, not attendees. If they're there - they're there to work and participate.
  4. Become aware of and monitor how often you talk
  5. Check your interpretation of group silence
  6. Don’t allow conflict to become destructive
  7. Critique ideas, not the person
  8. Don’t confront someone in meetings – Instead, talk one-on-one after the meeting
  9. Don’t close your mind because of preexisting opinions

Leader Tips

  1. First step in meeting planning: Clarify purpose and goals & deliverables for the meeting
  2. Write the agenda in outcome focused terms (Link)
  3. Invite the right people to meet meeting goals, with no extraneous attendees
  4. Check availability of key participants before sending out agenda
  5. Prepare your opening words and “stance." You set the tone for the meeting
  6. Break out! Use small groups to gain honest input quicker
  7. Be aware of “hidden agenda” items
  8. Don’t let meetings become a substitute for action
  9. Leader should maintain operational neutrality when leading controversial topics


  1. Room setup affects meeting dynamics
  2. Make "front of room" opposite door to reduce distraction from latecomers entering
  3. Arrange room for meeting type (decision making, mid-course correction, brainstorming, problem solving, etc)
  4. Positive high energy will set the group tone. If you're negative it's more contagious than the flu.

Getting Results

  1. Make the meeting purpose clear to meeting participants
  2. Convey deliverable for every agenda item to the group
  3. Summarize conversations; identify decisions to be made, and problem or question to be solved
  4. Limit tangents by using agenda to refocus group on task
  5. Choose right tools to: gain input, make decisions and solve problems creatively & efficiently
  6. In long work sessions, try to schedule a break every hour. (Max 90 minutes without break.)
  7. Let people leave when their portion is done
  8. Assign and record specific follow up items
  9. Create written follow-up plan in easy-to-read grid/matrix format (DALI Log)

 More than 11 million meetings are held every day in the US. – Doyle & Straus

It's estimated that business people will average 9,000 hours of meetings
in their lifetime. That is, over 2 years in your life! - Doyle & Straus

70% of executives feel that most of the meetings they attend are a waste of time             - Success Magazine

67% said they have more meetings this year than last year - Success Magazine