I agree. I’ve been coaching my clients to not attend meetings that don’t have an agenda or a clear goal/planned outcome. I remember way too many hours of my corporate life wasted in meetings that seemed only to be meeting for the sake of meeting.

I also like to clearly write the agenda on the whiteboard for all to see when they enter the room, with estimated time allocated per agenda item to ensure that we stay on track.

What do you think of Bezos’ meeting policy at Amazon? They write up a 6-page “narrative memo” that everyone reads in silence at the beginning of the meeting. Bezos says, “the act of communal reading guarantees the group’s undivided attention.”

I have mixed feelings. As an introvert myself, I prefer to have an agenda and prepare my thoughts before the meeting. But, I’ve also sent out an agenda and asked folks to prepare ahead of time, only to have people sheepishly admit that they hadn’t prepared at all, when we all sit down to kick things off.

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