How to Make Meetings More Productive

Few people like the idea of attending meetings. Many workers see them as a waste of time, and sometimes with good reason. If they are not conducted well, they can drag on longer than necessary, and not accomplish very much.

Here are some tips on how to conduct meetings effectively.

1.Consider why you’re having a meeting

The first step in planning a meeting is to think about whether you need to hold one in the first place. Do the issues or problems that you need to deal with actually require a meeting? Could they be dealt with more profitably with a one-on-one conversation? Would an e-mail suffice to handle your concerns?

2. Have an agenda

Whoever is running the meeting should draw up an agenda beforehand and distribute it to everyone who will be attending. This way, everyone knows what will be covered.

Just as important as having an agenda, however, is making sure that you adhere to it. You should not get distracted by other subjects and wander off topic. If an issue comes up that is not on the agenda, and people feel that it needs to be addressed, make a note of it, and determine another time when it can be covered.

3. Limit the scope

Lengthy meetings are not helpful for anyone. You should limit the scope of the meeting to about 30 minutes. If you cannot cover all you want to in that time, schedule another time to do it.

4. Focus on results

Don’t get bogged down in process and procedure. You’re holding the meeting to solve problems, so you need to focus on outcomes, not tell stories.

5. Take notes

Someone needs to take notes of what was discussed and decided at the meeting, and they should be distributed to everyone who attended.

6. Decide on next steps

At the meeting, you need to determine the next steps that need to be taken in order to address the problems discussed. You should assign these tasks to specific people and also establish a timeline for completing them.

 


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