The types of meetings depend on their goal. Understanding the goal of a meeting you need enables you to properly conduct or attend the meeting.
What the types of meetings depend on
The type of meeting does not depend on what attendees do in the meeting, or on the topic they discuss. Instead, the type of meeting depends on the goal that the attendees want to achieve during that meeting.
The 3 steps in the management cycle
It is possible to break the management cycle of a product or a team into three phases. Such phases repeat periodically in a continuous cycle.
- Reach a consensus.
- Make a decision.
- Review progress and adjust.
First, managers need to reach a consensus. They need to align on a shared view regarding a topic.
Second, once managers reach a shared view, they are able to make a decision.
Third, after a decision has been taken, managers periodically review progress and adjust. When the progress is not on track, there is a need for a new consensus. Then, the cycle starts again.
The goal of a meeting depends on the phase of the management cycle you are in.
The 3 types of meetings
According to meeting etiquette, a meeting with unclear goals should not happen. Thus, in an ideal team or company, there are only three types of meetings. They depend on their goal, which depends on the stage of the management cycle the team is in.
1) Consensus meetings. Meetings to create alignment on a topic. The output of the meeting is agreeing on a shared view of the topic.
2) Decision meetings. Meetings to make a decision. The tangible output of the meeting is the decision.
3) Status update meeting. Meetings to review the advancement on a topic. Their goal is to understand if progress is on track and the corrective actions to be taken.
Examples: common meetings and their types
Employee performance review meeting
It usually is a consensus meeting. The manager and the employee need to reach a consensus:
- On what constitutes a good performance.
- On whether the employee meets the good performance expectations.
It usually is a decision meeting. The decision is on what should be done next, the priorities, and resource allocation.
Daily stand-up meeting
It is a status update meeting. The goal is to update on what was done the day before, what will be done today, and the potential blockers and their solution.
Innovation or brainstorming meeting
It is a consensus meeting. Its goal is to align on which innovation options are available.
- A traditional view of types of meetings, disconnected from the business goals Calendly.com