Have you ever sat in a meeting while asking yourself, “Why am I here?” People don’t hate meetings. They hate being in meetings where they don’t belong. Meetings should be curated – right people, right meeting, right moment. Undisciplined curation means more than wasted time. It results in frustration and cynicism about the most important business tool you have – the art of gathering people together to do their best collaborative thinking.

How do you decide, for any given meeting, who should be involved in the conversation? Here are six questions you can ask yourself to do just that:

Who has the needed expertise?
Who can bring a unique and/or challenging perspective to the conversation
Who has the decision-making authority?
Who will be significantly impacted?
Who will be involved with implementation?
Who has a strong interest or commitment?

As you consciously curate your next meeting keep in mind that there are different roles people can play during a deliberation. For example, not everyone is a decision maker. It is important to advise people of their role when you invite them. Meeting roles include:

Decision-makers – those authorized to make a final decision
Subject matter experts – those with important knowledge or experience
Internal and external stakeholders – those who will impact or be impacted by a decision
Facilitator – someone who stays out of content and guides the discussion and decision-making process
Recorder / meeting scribe – someone who captures what is said and decided

Finally, remember that not everyone with a stake in the decision needs to actually be in attendance. When curating your meetings ask:

Who does not need to attend but should be asked to provide input prior to the meeting?
Who does not need to attend but should be informed after the meeting?

Meeting curation is about applying the principle of Essentialism to the ways we convene. What have you found to be useful in the way you curate your meetings?

Image credit: Rob Curran on Unsplash

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