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Internal Communications Resources: Meeting Norms and Guidelines

About this guide

This guide was created by the Internal Communications Working Group in May 2023 as a way to help facilitate meeting planning and operations at the MIT Libraries. The Working Group utilized the POP method to help structure this guide. The POP method is meant to help organize a meeting by considering the purpose, outcomes, and process. You can read more about the POP method here and here.

Before the meeting

  • Identify the purpose of the meeting
    • This can help clarify whether a meeting is necessary, or if the information can be communicated in a different format (email, Slack, collaborative document)
    • Decide on the intended outcome for the meeting/team/working group
  • ​​​​​Develop your agenda
    • Decide how much time you'd like to devote to each agenda item
    • Leave room in the agenda to review previous meeting notes and allow for questions
    • Consider this template for your agenda and meeting notes
    • Include the agenda in your meeting invites
    • MIT Libraries subscribe to "MIT Time," which gives meeting attendees a five-minute grace period for joining a meeting.
  • Set your participants
    • Looking at your purpose and itinerary, who needs to be present for the meeting to be successful?
    • If somebody does not need to be present, but needs to be aware of the meeting, consider inviting them as an optional attendee
      • Make sure to reach out to optional invitees and let them know what you will be discussing
  • Provide any pre-reading or notes with the meeting invite so the participants can prepare ahead of time, if needed
  • Consider the below chart for recommendations for ideal meeting length
    • When scheduling meetings with in-person participants, consider travel time on campus. Make note in your invites about in-person locations so people are aware.
Meeting Type Ideal Length
Regular team meeting 15-30 minutes
1:1 30-60 minutes
Brainstorming 40-60 minutes
Project Debrief 30 minutes for every week of the project
Strategy 60-90 minutes
Decision-making May require multiple meetings, depending on the decision


During the meeting

  • Identify a note-taker and time-keeper to record meeting minutes and watch the clock
    • Call out any decisions and action items and with deadline and who is responsible
    • Include any Q&A in the notes and any relevant chatter from the chat
  • Identify the intended outcome for the meeting/team/working group
  • Discuss how decisions will be made
  • Set aside time for introductions if there are new team members or this is the first meeting
  • Spell out acronyms, either out loud or in the chat
  • Keep an eye on the chat, or as somebody to watch the chat, for any communications and questions
    • Zoom has a "raise your hand" feature that can make communication in larger meetings easier, and it can help prevent people from speaking over each other
    • Some people may feel more comfortable typing out their responses instead of speaking them out loud. Be mindful of monitoring the chat for these conversations.

After the meeting

  • Meeting minutes should be shared post-meeting
  • Meeting minutes should include any important updates and changes to policies, procedures, or priorities
  • Minutes should clearly note action items 
    • Include due dates for action items if things need to be done prior to the next meeting
  • Any updates and changes to policies, procedures, or priorities should be housed in a shared location so team members can refer back as needed
  • Email all-lib accordingly for any updates that may be relevant to a wider audience

Accessibility in meetings

  • Zoom has some built-in accessibility features like closed captions and audio transcription
  • Provide your agenda, slide, and additional materials ahead of time
  • Schedule breaks for meetings longer than 1 hour

Development resources

There is a Learning Bundle on Atlas called "Making Meetings Work" and one called "Best Practices for Remote Meetings"

LinkedIn Learning also has several relevant course options: 

  • Leading Virtual Meetings (30 min)

  • Leading Productive Meetings (1 hr)

  • Best practices for virtual meetings (4 min)

  • Facilitate your virtual meeting (2 min)

  • Common virtual meeting mistakes (3 min)

  • Using body language in virtual meetings (3 min)

  • When you run meetings (5 min)

  • Virtual and hybrid meeting essentials (22 min)