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“There Will Be A Meeting…”

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American companies hold over 15 million meetings a day. Thirty billion dollars a year is spent on meetings, but most employees feel meetings are boring and a waste of time. Meetings should be a resource for education, communication and enthusiasm. Attendees should leave meetings with a sense of commitment and energy.

Every meeting should have a prior agenda. List the meeting objective and goal on the agenda. Include a “Pre-Meeting Preparation” list for the participants. Include in that list the things/items/ideas attendees should bring to the meeting. Every person attending a meeting should be able to answer two key questions: What is the purpose of the meeting? How can I contribute? Try to figure out how to get the most out of a meeting and how it can be of value. Look at every meeting as an opportunity to fulfill some purpose.

Meetings should not become lectures. Get participants actively involved. Appoint a minute taker, timekeeper, leader, facilitator, etc. Always start on time and end on time. Start your meeting with an icebreaker. This can be as simple as giving the participants 30 seconds to express their expectations of the meeting or to individually tell team members something most people don’t know about them. That always gets a good laugh. Always encourage and leave enough time for a question and answer period. After the meeting, distribute “action minutes” of the meeting to all participants. You may want to conduct a follow-up evaluation. Send out e-mail questionnaires, invite letters and encourage phone calls. Feedback gives management important data that can improve the next meeting.

Great meetings take planning. Be sure the purpose of the meeting is met. Meetings do not have to be boring or unproductive. Your meetings can make or break your team. You do not want people to feel as though they have wasted their time. You always want your staff to look forward to the next meeting. The positive expectation of a good meeting becomes part of an organizational culture.

“There Will Be A Meeting…”

1. Send out an agenda prior to the meeting.

2. Actively involve participants in the meeting.

3. Start the meeting with an icebreaker.

4. Distribute “action minutes.”

5. Conduct a follow-up evaluation of the meeting.


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