How to Have Effective Meetings: Applied Reunionology

Effective meetings are the dream of any organization. In any case, effective meetings or not) are a key element in the operation of any company. On many occasions, the health of an organization is reflected in the type of meetings that take place in it.

From this perspective, the health of employees is also conditioned by the type of meetings in a company. These reflect in a paradigmatic way the quality of its methods and the characteristics of its operation.

In this sense, research indicates that a high time dedicated to working meetings is associated with greater fatigue, work stress, and a greater perceived workload. Hence the importance of promoting effective and satisfactory meetings within companies.

Too many meetings

Various estimates estimate an average of 6 hours a week of meetings for many workers. Managers or managers spend even more time in meetings, with an average of 23 hours per week and up to 80% of their working time dedicated to meetings.

These data show that a significant part of an organization’s resources (employee time, salaries, etc.) is dedicated to meetings. Meetings exist in all types of organizations, regardless of culture, industry, or size. But are these meetings worth such a high investment?

Inefficient and unsatisfactory meetings

Unfortunately, empirical evidence points to widespread inefficiency when a meeting takes place on the job site. This determines that having effective meetings is seen as impossible and utopian.

In this sense, some surveys indicate that half of the meetings are valued by the attendees as poor. In addition, this fact is more serious when large expenses are derived from them for organizations.

Thus, meetings often contradict the effectiveness and well-being of an organization and its participants. Usually, there is a clear waste of time, sometimes for the sake of little or no benefit.

Make better meetings

When conducted appropriately, meetings can provide a space for creative thinking, debate, discussion, and brainstorming. Meetings are also critical elements for sharing information among employees, solving problems, and carrying out the development and implementation of the organization’s strategy.

The science of meetings

The science of meetings focuses on the systematic study of what happens before, during, and after a meeting and how meetings fit into a broad organizational context.


The “reunion logo” or science that is responsible for studying meetings focuses on the specific and dynamic context in which the groups and teams of an organization operate.

It is, therefore, a relatively new science that, undoubtedly, is necessary for the view of the large investment of resources of the organizations in meetings, with an often low return.

In this sense, the investigations that are contributing in recent times to grow the science applied to meetings and their optimization are growing. The following are the key elements that should be observed when setting up a meeting within an organization or company.

Before the meeting: meeting design and preparation

Key issues:

How the meetings should be structured.

When there should be a meeting.

Who should attend the meeting?

In terms of its structure, the meeting should be developed according to an agenda or order of business that all participants should have received in advance. This would allow participants to prepare, especially at the points of greatest significance to them.

Another important issue to consider is the need or not for the meeting. Many meetings take place when other avenues of the communication might be more effective.

The second key decision for conveners before a meeting is who should attend.

During the meeting: critical actions of conveners and attendees

Key issues:

What the leaders of the meeting can do to make it run smoothly.

What can the attendees do?

How attendees should interact.

During the meeting, the behaviors displayed by attendees and leaders and interpersonal interactions can facilitate or impede the success of the meeting.

In this way, leaders or drivers play an unequivocal role in setting the tone and the goal. After having shared the agenda before the meeting, the convener is also responsible for establishing a clear purpose at the beginning of the meeting and following the pre-established points during the meeting so that unexpected deviations do not occur.