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Are Your Meetings Productive?

Published by monica on Thursday, March 21, 2013

Photo credit by phatcontroller

Do you keep falling asleep in meetings and find them a waste of time? You choose to sit at the far end of the room so that you go unnoticed and prefer doodling on your notepad while your boss goes on and on about plans, strategies and end product delivery. Your other colleagues too try hard to stifle their yawns or look at the time to see when this painful discussion will end.

If this is how your meetings are, you drastically need to do a rethink and find ways to make your meetings productive. And do it now:

1. Have a clear focus

There has to be a clear focus and goal for your meeting to be fruitful. If there is no clarity of purpose, then the end gain will be zero. Thus make sure that there are specific issues that need to be thrashed out in the meeting. Also, it is essential that there is only one person conducting the discussion as too many cooks spoil the broth.

2. Have a written agenda

This is a useful tool as it will help you stay focused on the tasks at hand. You will also have less chances of getting distracted when you have a written list in front of you. This will result in optimal utilization of everybody's time and energy.

3. Set a time limit for the meeting

Time is a very important and precious commodity. At the outset, set a time limit for the meeting and inform the participants accordingly so that everyone is conscious that they have limited time to air their views. This will help them be concise and quick. Moreover, this will help you give more time to important issues and spend relatively less time on less weighty concerns. Remember that time is money and if you handle it judiciously, your meetings will definitely be productive.

4. Make sure that everybody gets equal opportunity to speak

You may have noticed that in meetings the loud and aggressive people steal the show, while the quiet and introvert types stay in the background. It is up to the person chairing the meeting to ensure that everybody gets an opportunity to speak, or else you could be deprived of good ideas.

5. Make meetings interesting and stimulating

Keep everyone on their toes by asking questions, seeking responses and brainstorming so that there is no room for anybody getting comfortable or laidback. The moment you see attention slacking and people getting disinterested, engage them by using these tactics.

6. Try not to have post-lunch meetings

It's true that early mornings are the best for any meeting or discussion and after lunch meetings are best avoided as the brain is relaxed. So if you want your meetings to be dynamic and productive then schedule them for the mornings or evenings.

Make your meetings stimulating and result-oriented as the progress of your organization and employees are dependent on decisions taken here. Decisions that can make or break the future.

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