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Plenty of meetings are a waste of time. They’re unfocused, badly run, and way too long. But improving your meetings isn’t rocket science — work on getting the basics right.
o When planning a meeting, know why you are scheduling it in the first place. Having a specific goal in mind will help you create a useful agenda.
o Next, decide who truly needs to be there, considering the key decision makers, influencers, and stakeholders. If certain people should be in the loop but don’t need to attend, you can ask for their input beforehand and update them afterward.
o Open the meeting by clearly laying out its purpose and focusing people on the task at hand. As the facilitator, your role is to get attendees to feel committed to the outcome.
o When the meeting is over, take a few minutes to reflect. Did everyone participate? Were people distracted? What worked well, and what didn’t? Use your reflections (ask others for their thoughts, too) to keep improving for next time.
Adapted from “Why Your Meetings Stink—and What to Do About It,” by Steven G. Rogelberg
Here’s a direct link to dozens of other Management Tips.