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The 7 Types of Meetings That Should Always Be Async (and 4 That Shouldn't)

The 7 Types of Meetings That Should Always Be Async (and 4 That Shouldn't)

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"Async first does not mean async-only."


Status Updates

These can be done without needing to gather everyone. You can keep everyone updated through a well-written, detailed, check-in post.

Important meetings

Don't hold meetings that leave out important participants!

If not everyone who is essential to the meeting will be unable to attend then turn the meeting into a detailed written communication that allows everyone to participate instead.


It's inefficient to have all your team members to sit through a meeting where most of the topics don't involve everyone directly.

Announcements should be made available to everyone instead and let them peruse it on their own time. The information that will be shared should be well-designed that is easily readable which can be skimmed for big-picture takeaways or scrutinized for the nitty-gritty details.

Irreplaceable Meetings

  1. Building bonds - creating a sense of community is way easier to do when you can hear your new team members' voices, their tone, facial expressions, and build upon the connection.
  2. Timely decision-making - Async communication is slower by definition so during emergency situations it's crucial to be on call with relevant parties.
  3. When you need to discuss very detailed or complex topics with your team.
  4. Discussions that involve emotions.

Moving Work Forward

Once a project has been started, you can actually still get a lot of things done even when apart. Work can happen effectively without the need of huddling the team up as long as you all have well-written and well-organized communication with each other.

Tip: Create an easily searchable thread for the problems that your team encounters and needs solving, and tag the people involved.

Ad hoc conversations in group chats only leave jumbled information or get hidden in email chains.

Brainstorming Meetings

Traditional brainstorming meetings don't work because of the time crunch and the pressure it places on everyone involved.

Often, we get a few good ideas here and there but it's not an inclusive practice at all.

Async brainstorming needs more than an hour - which could last for days or at most two weeks in order to produce well-thought-out outcomes.

Reviews, feedback requests, and approvals

  • Feedbacks that are well thought of and articulated clearly are extremely helpful.
  • Reviews that are async allow team members to provide approval outside of meetings will avoid having groupthink -- the phenomenon where the group's desire for consensus hinders open debate or voicing of the opposition.
  • We are able to truly gather our thoughts and provide honest assessments outside of a time-pressured meeting.

Kickoffs and Planning Meetings

Put everything you need in a written format - doing so clarifies everyone's scope, timelines, and responsibilities.

If there are more than a handful of things to work through or work schedules to align and the many unknown scopes of the project, a meeting should be held. But, do not forget to transfer outcomes into writing so that everyone stays on the same page.

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