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How to delete that meeting? — Nr. 131
Meetings are problems. Are you interested in optimizing your meetings? Let’s discuss different types of meetings and how to delete them.
Like you, I hate meetings.
Meetings are problems. Now that I’m building a product with two co-founders, I always make sure we focus on execution with minimum meetings. To illustrate this, we only have 2 sync meetings this month. We mainly communicate asynchronously via Slack, Notion, or Github.
Are you interested in optimizing your meetings? Let’s discuss different types of meetings and how to delete them.
Just so you know meetings
What: In this meeting, one person or a small group tells others what has been done. The purpose of this meeting is to transfer information. You can imagine an announcement or weekly team sync.
How to delete this meeting: Write down the information and share it with the team. People can read and digest the information at their own pace. It’s better.
If it’s crucial, book 15-30 minutes on people’s calendars to remind them to read the document. What if people don’t read it? Well, then, that’s a problem of culture. Make an agreement with your team.
If it’s related to the team’s morale or sensitive information, consider holding a meeting as a follow-up for the written information to have a Q&A or discussion with some nuances. This might be more effective rather than using the meeting for transferring information.
When I was at Shopify, Toby, the CEO, sent out the explanation via emails to all employees. Then, in the next town hall, people ask questions about that information. This is so effective.
What are you up to meetings
What: Like a daily standup, you ask people what they are up to. Or maybe your manager is asking for an update on the project you’re working on.
How to delete these meetings: Set up a Slack channel and ask people to give updates on that channel. The alternative? Write updates on project management apps like Asana or Notion.
If the blocker gets too complicated, try to write it down. Define who you need help from. Then, make a quick call to discuss that.
What do you think meetings
What: These meetings are where you want to know people’s opinions. Usually, there’s progress made, and you want the team to review it. Or this can be a brainstorming session, too.
How to reduce these meetings: You can record a video with Loom to explain the context. Then, send people the document or Miro, where they can drop their thoughts. It’s even better to specify what input you need from them.
If you need someone to review your design work, send them the organized Figma file. List down all the questions via Slack. Bonus: Give them a hint at the latest for them to drop their input.
What should we do meetings
What: Usually, these meetings are the worst. The meeting has no real agenda, and everyone is trying to figure out what they should do next. This is an indication that there’s no clear leadership that’s responsible for figuring things out.
Counterpoint: Sometimes, you need this unstructured meeting to navigate things. It can be beneficial when things are still ambiguous. However, you want to avoid having these meetings too frequently.
How to delete these meetings: If you’re confused about what to do next, think. Then, break down your thinking. Hey, here’s the situation, here’s the complication, here’s my question that I’m not sure about, and this is how to tackle it based on my best guess. Then the meeting will be more productive.
All in all, meetings are problems. But beyond that, some people are too lazy to think, write, or read. Some of my solutions above won't work if the team is unwilling to read or write.