5 Steps to Make Your Meetings More Productive

Did you have “social loafers” in your meetings today?   If any of your meetings had more than 7 people in attendance, it’s likely you did, and as a result you probably didn’t get as much accomplished as you wanted.

Stop Social Loafing In Meetings


According to Psychologist and Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino, “social psychology research has shown that when people perform group tasks (such as brainstorming or discussing information in a meeting), they show a sizable decrease in individual effort than when they perform alone.” This is known as “social loafing” and tends to get worse as the size of the group increases.”

5 steps to make your business meeting more productive

When meetings have more than 7 participants everyone won’t have a chance to talk, and many of them won’t feel the need to. “When many hands are available, people work less hard than they ought to,” explains Gino.

To ensure you get the most out of everyone in your next meeting, make sure you plan for success with the 5 Ps.

  1. Purpose: Why are we holding this meeting?  What are the key objectives?
  2. Product: What do we want to have produced once we are done? How will we know when we have been successful?
  3. Participants: Who can help us achieve our objectives and produce the desired product?
  4. Probable Issues: When these participants attempt to achieve these objectives, and produce this product, what shenanigans could ensue? What are the ‘gotchas’ that could prevent us from creating the product or achieving the purpose?
  5. Process: What steps should we take during the meeting to achieve the purpose given the product desired, the participants and the probable issues we will face?

Every meeting is an opportunity to innovate, hold people accountable and make your organization succeed. Limit your guest list to seven people, expedite the decision making process for your team and stop social loafing once and for all.

Jennifer Albrecht, Vice President of Professional Development, has been teaching and consulting with Learn iT! since 1997. Since joining Learn iT!, Jennifer has built and facilitated all of Learn iT!’s Professional Development classes including Communication, Leadership, Negotiating and Decision Making.

Jennifer strongly believes in Learn iT!’s 8 Step Model for Learning and applies it in all of the classes she builds and facilitates. Further information on the 8 Step Model can be found here.