3 types of meetings and how to run them

COVID-19 has "broken" meetings, but defining their purposes might improve their productivity, according to a Sept. 29 Harvard Business Review article. 

The article was written by Amy Bonsall, CEO of Collective, an advising platform for distributed organizations. According to Ms. Bonsall, a hybrid environment has made it harder to host meaningful meanings. 

"Instead of focusing on when and where we meet, we ought to start with why we’re coming together and let that dictate logistics," Ms. Bonsall wrote. 


The three types of meetings and the best way to run each, according to Ms. Bonsall: 

1. Transactional: These meetings move work forward. Shared working documents (such as Google Docs and FigJam, which invite multiple participants to collaborate at once), ensuring each person is on their own screen and adding an "engagement lead" to assist the host in holding attention can aid success in transactional meetings. 

2. Relational: These meetings aim to build connections. Clear objectives, structured activities and deliberate mixing of employees across departments can help these meetings achieve their goals.  

3. Adaptive: These meetings help organizations respond to complex and sensitive situations. Changing the environment — focusing on a virtual whiteboard with cameras off, or hosting in a physical room with comfortable, movable furniture — can create the right mood in the space. Allow employees to provide feedback on how and where the meeting is hosted, and allow space to dissolve tension by recommending employees take a walk afterward, or hosting an in-office coffee break. 

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