Most meetings suffer a lack of definition, which is the core issue. Without that lack of definition, there can be no real actions to come from the meeting. There’s always at least one person who seems to be so out of scope that everyone else in the room doesn’t smack them only because it’s considered impolite.
There should be a set time. Everyone should show up on time, arguably earlier so that people can get out of it and move on with their lives.
Some people like transcriptions of the meeting. Ask at the beginning if they want one – and if so, guess who just volunteered? If not them, assign it to someone who knows how to listen and will halt things for clarifications.
This tongue in cheek, ‘20 tricks to appear smart in meetings‘ mocks the main problem of meetings: People trying to appear smarter than they are. They actually don’t for people who have more than 3 brain cells, so if at all possible, get the ‘must prove my intelligence to everyone people’ closed off in a meeting somewhere and treat it like a cage match with no bathroom breaks.
And then there is the tyranny of the clique – where a select few talk among themselves, not allowing anyone else into their conversation.
Avoid meetings, stick to a schedule and leave when the meeting is supposed to be done. Meetings are for people who like meetings, who like appearing busy rather than being productive.
Productive people meet. Busy people have meetings.