A meeting is productive when the amount of derailing is minimised. Therefore, when you plan or lead a meeting you should focus on how to deal with people who try to derail the meeting.
The following tips involve both direct and indirect intervention, but all of them help you with minimising meeting derails.
- Set a clear agenda
- Impose a ‘no device’ rule or schedule periodic tech breaks for email, texts and phone calls
- Redirect people back to the agenda when they ramble or digress
- Ask early for objections to keep them from derailing discussions later
- Set an ending time for the meeting and stick to it