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For the Love of a Meeting!

Get the most out of your meetings by following these tips


We all have sat in unproductive meetings and if you have been in the corporate world you were in a lot. Many of those meetings could have been an email instead.Meetings can be a great place to connect, clear up misunderstandings, and collaborate. When you have a great meeting things happen.


Here are 5 tips for a successful and productive meeting


1. Set Clear Objectives: Clearly define the purpose and objectives of the meeting. Communicate these objectives in advance to all participants so that everyone is on the same page. This helps in focusing the discussion and ensures that the meeting stays on track.2. Create an Agenda: Develop a well-structured agenda that outlines the topics to be discussed and allocates time for each item. Share the agenda with participants before the meeting, so they can come prepared. This not only helps in time management but also allows attendees to gather relevant information and contribute effectively.


Awesome Note: Agenda templates abound in Microsoft Word and other software. You can create your own or contact me and I can create one for you (wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) 


3. Encourage Active Participation: Foster a collaborative environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing their opinions and ideas. Encourage active participation by asking open-ended questions, seeking input from different meeting attendees, and promoting a culture of inclusivity. This can lead to more diverse perspectives and innovative solutions. 


4. Time Management: Respect participants' time by starting and ending the meeting on time. Stick to the agenda and allocate time judiciously for each agenda item. If discussions are going off track, suggest parking those topics for follow-up discussions to maintain focus on the key issues at hand. Efficient time management contributes to higher engagement and satisfaction among participants. 


  • Personal Note: The marching band mantra that was drilled into me was 'If you're early you're on time, when you're on time you're late, and when you're late you're in trouble.'

Awesome Note:

a. Set a buffer time for meetings particularly online. This will allow you to have bio-breaks and time to reset before bouncing into the next meeting.

b. Have a hard stop time and let all participants know at the beginning of the meeting. This boundary helps keep you focused on what is important in the meeting and allows you to get to your next meeting or event. 


5. Follow-Up and Action Items: At the end of the meeting, summarize key takeaways and action items. Assign responsibilities for each action item and set deadlines. This ensures accountability and helps in tracking progress between meetings. Sending out meeting minutes promptly after the meeting is crucial for everyone to have a clear understanding of what was discussed and the next steps.


Awesome Note: Audio record meetings to have a clear record of what occurred in the meeting to prevent misunderstandings down the road. You can also get it transcribed for a written record. One recording and transcribing app that I recommend is Otter.ai.


By incorporating these tips, you can enhance the effectiveness of your meetings and create a more collaborative and productive work environment. Keep em' short and well-focused and you can "get 'er done". 

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