How Meetings Should Work
Meetings should only be held to make decisions that require the kind of synchronous multi-party discussions that don’t work well over email. Status updates should not be done via meetings because they can just as well be done via email. The one exception to this is a quick daily status update meeting for a team to ensure that nobody is blocked.
Meeting invitations should be accompanied by an agenda that lists the decisions to be made during the meeting. If one is not provided, ask for it instead of accepting the invitation.
During the meeting everybody should be focused on the discussion instead of distracted by digital devices; the only exceptions are for a person presenting some information to support an argument in favour of either side of the decision currently underway and for the person recording the decisions that get made.
Whoever is running the meeting — generally the same person who scheduled it — should take responsibility for making sure that everybody’s voice is heard & nobody hogs airtime. Yes, this means cutting people off when they are rambling. It also means taking note of who isn’t speaking & asking them if they have anything to contribute.
After the meeting the decisions that were made should be sent out to all participants as well as any other stakeholders who may be interested in the outcomes. The primary rationale behind each decision should be included.