3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Have Better Meetings

We had the pleasure of welcoming Melissa and Johnathan Nightingale to speak at our Modern Managers event, and we were blown away with their wealth of practical advice for running effective meetings. Keep reading for their top 3 takeaways, and check out the video below to watch the full AMA session.

Melissa and Johnathan have worked with some of the biggest tech companies across North America (Mozilla, IBM, Hubba, Edmodo, Wattpad, Creative Commons). They’re taking what they’ve learned along the way to help even more companies build better bosses with their latest venture, Raw Signal Group. Read more about their experience and get practical tips in their book, How F*cked Up is Your Management.

Three things you can start doing today to run better meetings:

1 Pre-flighting

People often schedule meetings to talk about big shifts in strategy or priorities. Problem is, everyone else in the meeting is hearing about these changes for the first time, in the moment. So, they react negatively. Chances are, they’re responding to being surprised, not to the change itself. This is the first they’re hearing about it so they’re processing the information. If you’re planning to communicate a change in the meeting, tap the people who might react on the shoulder before the meeting and brief them on your plan. That way you can deal with any concerns they have one-on-one before the meeting, instead of in front of everyone.


2 Follow the 4 P’s

If you own a meeting, you need to be able to articulate the four P’s. Purpose – why are we having this meeting? People – who needs to be there? Product – what are we trying to accomplish/get out of the meeting? Process – how will we get there? If you can’t, you’re wasting people’s time.


3 Manage Devices

Make your meetings screen-free. If you don’t have their eyes during your meeting, you don’t have their attention. Meetings run over when people are distracted by their phones, or computers. Some might argue they need to take notes. But, that’s what Google docs and SoapBox are for! Assign one person as the note taker, put their screen up on the projector and create a set of shared meeting notes. Your meetings will be shorter and people will get their time back.



Watch the full Meetup to hear what Johnathan and Melissa have to say about👇:

  • Managing meetings with remote teams
  • Getting through decision-heavy meetings without getting decision-fatigue
  • How to exclude people from a meeting without hurting their feelings
  • How to manage meetings when your team is really small (like, 2 people)
  • Best practices for all-hands meetings
  • Making sure there’s a diversity of voice in a meeting room full of different personalities


Melissa and Johnathan led us on a rallying cry for better meetings. Watch this next video and say it with us, #NotInMyMeeting!

Videographer: Mikayla Fasullo


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