12 Comments
Jan 19Liked by Ryan Peterman

What I really gained value from this newsletter is

"One tactic that works well is to “threaten” with a meeting by booking it and offering to cancel if we figure it out async. Most of the time, the work gets done before the meeting since people don’t want to attend it."

I see this more of an reward-incentive rather than a threat to get the job done on time. Nevertheless this is ingenious!

Thanks for sharing, Ryan!

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author

Haha yes, not an actual threat. Happy to share!

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I liked "meetings are a good forcing function" with an option to cancel the call if the problem is solved by then.

I'm also piloting 15 min calls recently. They tend to be more productive since they're so short and people don't have time to go off topic.

If you have 3-4 people on the call, everyone gets 5 min of talking and often its enough to solve a problem.

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Good guide for meetings. From my experience, if these async discussions are shared publicly the easier it will be to avoid falling into a meeting

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This is a nice and concise list of TODOs before meetings.

I find preparing for meetings beforehand a great strategy to make it less intimidating, and more productive.

Writing action points during the meeting is a great way to make the time spend pay off nicely.

Thanks, Ryan for a great post!

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author

Happy to Basma :)

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Great post!

I usually send the agenda in advance. And also send a small write up to provide full context.

Well, it is great that in Amazon culture people read documents in the meeting so avoids unnecessary churn.

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author

Agreed that's a great tip. I updated the post to add that to the prep section. Thanks Avneesh!

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Jan 19Liked by Ryan Peterman

Nice meeting structure!

Also, at the beginning of the meeting, adding a quick icebreaker with a random question to the attendants it’s a good way to have an active attention. Thanks for sharing!

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Jan 19Liked by Ryan Peterman

These are really great advices, thank you.

There are also two things I usually do.

1. Review the action items from the previous meeting at the beginning of the meeting. In a way "put people on the spot" for what they are responsible for. This applies to me as well.

2. Sign myself up for some of the action items for the meeting to show I am in this together with everyone.

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author

These two are great for recurring meetings, I do the same. The first point is another way to use meetings as a forcing function

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I'm not an L5 engineer, but rest assured, if engineers can postpone, they will. Logging billed hours, replying to HR, signing paperwork, anything 😃

I agree with you that the minimum requirement of a meeting is to set a clear agenda and a time limit and not to stray away from any of those.

Bad or unorganized meetings cost companies a lot–I personally experienced this. Organized, productive meetings always bring results.

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