In a 2017 survey of 182 senior managers, 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient. Meetings are an essential part of moving forward and getting things done, but to be productive, there need to be some guidelines to follow. In any company, it’s important that all members of the business are on the same page at the same time. To run a more effective meeting, certain meeting protocols can help organizations move forward.

Why Meeting Protocols Are Important

Meeting protocols are important to running better meetings and development sessions. Protocols are basic ground rules that help guide what is expected of the group during the meeting in order to help the meeting run effectively. It’s important that these rules are discussed and shared with your team and organization, so everyone is on the same page.

5 Meeting Protocols and Procedures

A team meeting should be conducted in such a way that all people are well-informed, trained, and unified. To do this well, there are a few ground rules for effective team meetings.

1. Participation.

As part of a team, all meeting attendees should participate. Participation can look different depending on the type of person and the topic, but at least some input is necessary. The meeting will be more productive when attendees participate.

How to fix this issue: Encourage participation from meeting attendees both before and during the meeting.

2. Purpose.

Going into any meeting, knowing and understanding the goal of a conversation is key. This is true for the entire meeting as well as each speaking individual. If an individual doesn’t know why they are doing something, a communication breakdown has occurred.

How to fix this issue: A detailed agenda will be helpful in providing the purpose of a meeting. Make sure it’s detailed, yet clear, and to-the-point.

3. Solutions to problems.

When discussing a problem, make sure to discuss a possible solution. By focusing on the solution, negative thinking is less likely to hinder progress. This can lead to a more productive meeting.

How to fix this issue: Once again, an agenda can be a great starting point. By sending the topics before the meeting, including the problems to come up with a solution for, meeting attendees can start planning ahead of time.

4. Pointed topics.

To have a concise meeting that can run on time, sticking to the point works. Straying onto side topics can create chaos and waste time. Setting an agenda before the meeting is a good way to plan.

How to fix the issue: Setting a detailed agenda with topics to discuss will be helpful. Consider using a timeboxing planner to dedicate to certain topics, prioritize the most important topics first.

5. Proceed.

At the end of a meeting, everybody should know what their future action will be. Having clear and concise goals moving forward can keep an orderly and consistent schedule.

How to fix the issue: Taking notes will be the key to firming up your next steps. Record decisions from your meetings and who is responsible for tasks and next steps. Your meeting notes will be turned into meeting minutes, a summary of final decisions, and notes sent to the team.


Meeting protocols keep businesses running smoothly. Since company goals can shift, staying up to date is key. A successful meeting is one where every person is working together to find effective strategies and solutions. Focusing on what matters can save time and energy that is best spent elsewhere.

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