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7 Tips for More Effective Meetings

7 Tips for More Effective Meetings

Budget season is upon us, which means your calendar is most likely packed full of meetings. In-person meetings are an important part of running a successful business, but if those meetings are disorganized, they can be a drain on your time…time that’s already stretched thin as it is (especially during budget season!). Do you frequently lead meetings in your office? Here are five tips to help ensure your next meeting is effective and efficient.

1. Ask Yourself if a Meeting is Necessary
There are many instances when a meeting is necessary, but sometimes, a phone call, email or quick stop at your coworker’s desk will suffice.

2. Determine the Objective
Have you ever left a meeting and thought to yourself, “What was the point of that?” It’s frustrating to attend unproductive meetings…especially when there are piles of work waiting for you at your desk. Make sure the meetings you organize have clear, concrete objectives.

3. Set (and Stick to) an Agenda
Whenever possible, distribute an agenda in advance so attendees know what to expect and can come to the meeting prepared to get to work. And during the meeting, stick to the agenda! If something comes up that isn't relevant to the meeting’s objective, set it aside for later and bring things back on track.

4. Keep it Short
I don’t know about you, but most meetings on my calendar seem to be set for an hour. Do you have a meeting objective that can be achieved in 30 or 45 minutes? Then only book 30 or 45 minutes. After all, meetings that could be short have a way of expanding to fill the amount of time allotted for them.

5. Start (and End) on Time
There’s nothing more maddening than rushing to get to a meeting, only to have it start 15 minutes late. Be respectful of everyone’s time by starting and ending your meetings on time.

6. Encourage Participation
In every meeting, it seems like a few people tend to dominate the conversation. Get fresh perspectives and encourage collaboration by asking for opinions from folks who have kept quiet for most of the meeting.

7. Designate a Note Taker
This person will be responsible for taking notes on things like decisions you made during the meeting, next steps and deadlines. Distribute these notes shortly after the meeting to keep the team on track.

What other tips do you have for organizing and running effective meetings? Please share in the comments below!

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