Quiz: How Are Your Meetings?

Check your own meeting habits with this diagnostic. Rate each of the following with AlwaysSometimes, or Rarely/Never. (Grab a piece of paper to keep track of your answers.)

1. I know why we are having each meeting and what the desired outcome is.

2. Meetings have an agenda so that everyone knows what needs to be discussed.

3. If I need to review materials in order to be prepared for meetings, I receive them sufficiently in advance.

4. It’s clear who the facilitator/owner of each meeting is, and that person makes sure the conversation stays on track.

5. The conversation stays focused and comments are relevant and to the point.

6. If a topic comes up during a meeting that isn’t on the agenda, we’re disciplined about deferring it until another time and moving back to the agenda topics (unless it’s truly important enough to displace other topics, in which case we make an explicit decision to dive into it).

7. A group meeting is the best place for the conversations we have (as opposed to email, one-on-one conversations, etc.).

8. When I am in meetings, I think, “This is the best use of my time right now.”

9. Meetings start and end on time.

10. I leave meetings knowing what the relevant next steps are for me and for others.

Scoring

Give yourself 2 points for each Always answer, 1 point for each Sometimes answer, and 0 points for each Rarely/Never answer.

16-20 points: You rule. Your meetings are a model of good “meeting hygiene.” If you wanted to improve them further, look at where you answered “sometimes” or “rarely/never,” but you sound like you’re in good shape overall.

7-15 points: Room for improvement. Your meetings are doing some things right, but could use attendees’ time better and probably produce better outcomes. Take a look at where you answered “sometimes” or “rarely/never” for ideas of what to work on.

0-6 points: Uh oh. Your meetings need an intervention! Take a look at where you answered “sometimes” or “rarely/never” for a roadmap of what to work on. If that seems overwhelming, consider picking one meeting and trying just a few of these practices, and see if they get you better results.