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Making Meetings Positive and Productive

Many people complain that there are too many meetings, the meetings are too long, poorly organized and don’t really accomplish anything.

Let’s look at some ways you make your meetings more positive and productive:

1. Decide if you even need a meeting – The cost of meetings is extraordinary – take all the time for all the people in the meeting and multiply by their wages and benefits. If the meeting is off site, add in travel costs. The hidden cost of any meeting is the opportunity cost – the value of what the people in the meeting would have been doing to add value, if they weren’t in a meeting. Some managers use a meeting for their own convenience – it’s easier to tell everyone the information at once. This can be inconsiderate to the people attending the meeting who have better things to do.

2. Have a specific purpose – What do you want to achieve at the meeting? If it’s just the regular staff meeting or production meeting, it may be time to get more focused on what you want to achieve because of the meeting. What are the outcomes? To solve a problem, to celebrate success?

3. Start with positives – Many meetings tend to slide into problems. To set them up for positives, start the meeting by asking people what went well for them the previous day, week or month. If you know of accomplishments, highlight them.

4. Set up an agenda – In advance if at all possible, or even right at the beginning of the meeting. Cover the purpose, put the most important items first and set up a time frame.

5. Start on time – Make it known when the meeting starts and start at that time. People will get used to being on time. If everyone knows the meeting starts late, they will show up late.

6. Stay on Track – Manage the time during the meeting to make sure discussions stay on point and that tangent discussions are limited.

7. Manage participation – Make sure you here from quieter people and that dominant people don’t dominate the discussion.

8. End the meeting on time (yes it’s a good idea to have an end time pre-established), publish a meeting summary (who agreed to do what and by when).

9. Discuss how to make the meeting better – take a few minutes at the end of the meeting to discuss how it went and how to make it better.

Reminder to get your tickets for the Secrets of Success in Uncertain Times at the Caboto Club – November 19th at 7 PM. Visit www.LeadershipWizard.com for tickets.

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