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Meetings Complaints

I have been hearing complaints about the number of meetings that I hold, but I believe they are important. Nonetheless, I am willing to listen, and I am wondering about ways to make my meetings more effective.

When it comes to meetings, there are some key steps to help generate a meeting of the minds.

The first is to look at each meeting’s topic and ask yourself if you really need to meet at all. In many cases, issues that call for brainstorming and decision-making lend themselves well to meetings, while there typically is less of a need to meet for the purpose of updating employees. In these latter situations, email may suffice.

Secondly, look over the list of attendees and ask yourself if each truly needs to attend. Perhaps some of the people who are slotted as attendees need little more than a summary, while still others may need even less.

You can also improve meetings by having an agenda and sending it out to all attendees in advance. They should be encouraged to review it and suggest additional items for discussion. Your agenda should include the meeting’s objectives.

The meeting should start and end on time, and as the leader, you should lead. For example, if the discussion strays and stays off-topic and requires the involvement of only a few of the attendees, you should push the meeting back on track and set a separate meeting for those individuals.

For meetings that should be brief but still plod along, try holding them on a stand-up basis. People will not stand for time-wasting or time-wasters in these gatherings.

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