Meeting Mastery - Lead Like A Pro

How to run effective meetings as a designer - 4P method

Didn’t you know that meetings can help you shine as a designer?

I want to share why meetings matter and how we can improve them.

We spend so much time in meetings.

We spend about 30% of our work time in meetings! That’s almost 3 years of our lives in meetings!

Let’s be honest. Most meetings are a waste of time. Many people think so, and they even admit to daydreaming, doing other work, or even sleeping during meetings.

But meetings don’t have to be this way.

If you want to be an excellent design leader, don’t just run meetings but instead create a great meeting experience for every participant. So that it shows you care about the time and attention of the people in the meeting.

Here’s a method I learned during the meeting mastery course run by Culture Amp.

It’s called the 4P method.

A tool that can make your meetings more productive and enjoyable.

How the 4P method works

Great designers (design leaders) share 4 key things when they begin a meeting:

  1. Purpose: Why the meeting is happening.
  2. Product: What the team will have at the end of the meeting that they didn’t have before.
  3. Personal benefit: Why the people in the meeting should care and want to contribute to the conversation.
  4. Process: How the meeting will be structured.

Because the first few minutes of a meeting predict how the rest of the meeting goes.

Following the 4P method will help you start strong and finish well all of your future meetings.

In practice, let’s look at the 4P method


Sharing the purpose helps everyone understand the meeting’s goal and stay focused.

For example

The purpose of this meeting is to review two user flows and decide which flow we’ll go ahead with for the mobile shopping cart experience.


Talking about the product shows what you want to achieve at the end of the meeting.

For example

At the end of the meeting, we’ll have a decision on the flow we’ll implement and design in detail.

Personal benefit

Explaining the personal (and/or team) benefit motivates everyone to participate.

For example

The personal/team benefit of the session is to align on the chosen flow so we can create a shopping cart experience that helps us achieve higher customer satisfaction and sales.


Outlining the process ensures everyone knows how the meeting will run. An agenda is a great way to help your meeting stay on track.

For example

  • 5 min — introduction
  • 10 min — review user flow #1
  • 10 min — review user flow #2
  • 20 min — discussion & decision
  • 5 min — summary & wrap up

Pro tip

  • Make your agenda visible during the meeting and check off items as you finish them. This can make everyone feel good and stay focused.
  • You can also write time estimates for each item to help everyone be aware of the time.

Facilitator’s mood

Your mood, as a facilitator of the meeting, at the start of a meeting, spreads to the rest of the participants, whether it’s positive or negative.

When you’re excited about the meeting, the participants are more likely to be excited too. When you start your meeting with a sense of boredom about the topic, other people will sense it too, and it will negatively influence your meeting.

If you’re not excited about the topic, it’s still your responsibility to lead the meeting well.

So pretend!

Meeting norms

As a final note, remember the following meeting norms:

  • Share the floor
  • Help get all voices into the conversation
  • If people can’t contribute to the discussion, let them go
  • Stay present
  • No multitasking
  • Off-topic points belong in the ‘parking lot’

Let’s change the way we think about meetings and make them a valuable part of our work lives.

By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to leading meetings that people actually enjoy and get the most out of.

This article is a written version of my YouTube video with the same title.