Establishing meeting norms can be an effective and powerful tool. Meeting norms are the standards set for working together positively and productively as a group, and provide a guideline for behavior. They can (and should) address things like expectations, participation, decision making, communication, confidentiality, listening, time management, culture, and handling disagreements.

When done well, norms can help develop a shared sense of responsibility and buy-in and promote equity and inclusion.  It also leverages the strengths of your team and considers different learning and communication preferences.

Here are sample meeting norms that I have found to be effective:

  • A purpose and agenda for the meeting are defined in advance and materials sent two days in advance of the meeting.
  • Individuals come prepared to discuss the materials and topics outlined on the agenda.
  • Meetings start and end on time.
  • Attendees are engaged and present during our time together and put away electronic devices.
  • Communication is respectful; we do not interrupt when someone is speaking.
  • We address challenges at hand in a direct and constructive way, with a focus on solutions.
  • Responsibility is shared and team members will rotate as agenda creator, note taker, and action-step summarizer.

With the new prevalence of virtual meetings, it may serve companies to have virtual meeting norms as well, such as:

  • All attendees online with faces on camera; this may apply whether individuals are working from home or working in an office where I recommend they log in from individual computers vs grouping in a conference room.
  • Data and presentations that are easy to share and read virtually.
  • Using a “red robin” format so the conversation isn’t dominated by certain individuals but allows everyone a chance to speak.

We spend so much time in meetings that making them enjoyable, engaging, and productive contributes to positive business results and a sense of accomplishment for the team!

About Your Columnist

Tracy Ward is a featured columnist for Women Lead, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she brings 25+ years of experience in Human Resources, Executive Leadership, and Organizational Development. Her strong technical knowledge is evidenced by the Human Resources certifications she holds, including the SHRM-SCP, SPHR, PHRca, and GPHR.

Interested in Joining Us at a Future Event?!



Interested in Becoming a Valued Member of Our Professional Community!?


Connected Women of Influence © 2022 All Rights Reserved | Crafted by Administrative Design


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?