Let’s face it, most of us dread attending meetings. More often than not, they prove to be unproductive, wasteful, and even confusing.

That’s why today we’re sharing our top 5 rules for leading ultra productive meetings.

1. Invite the Right People

Even if you’re strapped for time, you’ll need to prepare ahead to lead a successful meeting. This includes inviting the right people and understanding exactly what role every member of the team plays. Don’t know? Ask someone that does.

2. Identify a Goal

If you can’t easily define the goal of your meeting, you probably shouldn’t be holding it in the first place. To help determine this, try choosing a meeting type: brainstorm, working session, presentation, etc. By understanding how you intend on spending the time, you’ll more easily land on your desired end result.

3. Make an Agenda

This may feel too reminiscent of your days on ASB, but don’t underestimate the value of a good agenda. With an agenda in hand, you’ll keep your meetings on track and allow attendees to prepare ahead of time. Send out the agenda at least a few hours prior to the meeting for maximum effect.

4. Define Roles

Always identify the Meeting Owner and the Note Taker before you enter the conference room. The Meeting Owner will make sure the agenda is followed and that the meeting goal is achieved in a timely manner.

The Note Taker is an especially essential role. Not only should this person send out a detailed recap of what was discussed, but he or she is tasked with clearly outlining next steps for all players involved.

5. Remember: Time Is Money

Never forget that your colleagues are paid for the time spent in that conference room. Watching YouTube videos and discussing Frank Ocean’s new album? Probably not the best use of that time and money. If you’re invited to attend a meeting that you feel will waste your time, recommend the right person to take your place!

At StackCommerce, we even took a step further and implemented a ‘No-Meetings Wednesday’ company-wide. While initially shocking, this change proved to be extremely beneficial and has since increased productivity across teams.

Let us be clear when we say that meetings aren’t the enemy. When done right, they can be huge game-changers for your company. Not to mention, confidently leading a successful meeting makes you look great in front of your colleagues.

Our challenge to you: change how your company views meetings by leading the way. Productivity and creativity may be just around the corner.