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"How to Make Meetings More Effective"

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Newsletter July 18, 2013
 
The issue of meeting effectiveness is an important one that all companies deal with at one time or another. Meetings serve very important purposes because they let everyone know what is going on within the company, as well as who is in charge of certain tasks. However, there are often times many complaints about unsuccessful meetings. Sometimes it seems as though employees leave a meeting with the same questions they had before it began. Here are some simple steps that you can take from now on to ensure that your meetings are more productive.
 
1. Invite only necessary employees:
By only inviting those people who are necessary to the effectiveness of the meeting, you are cutting down the time wasted by the other employees. In addition, meetings will also be briefer because fewer people will be in attendance to participate. This way you can get in and out of the meeting with all your topics discussed and questions answered in a short amount of time, and the other employees have time to spend on their hectic schedules.
 
2. Prepare an agenda:
The agenda is perhaps the most important part of the meeting. It should be planned out very carefully, ensuring that all matters that need to be discussed are brought up. It is also beneficial to put the topics in some sort of order to enable the meeting to run
smoothly. It is usually most effective when the most complex issues are placed on the agenda first. That way the employees are more alert and awake and more willing to tackle the deeper matters with a clear mind. It is important that the agenda not be
strayed from. Only plan on discussing those subjects which are on the agenda, leaving time at the end of the meeting for questions and concerns.
 
3. Summarize the meeting:
At the conclusion of the meeting, it is beneficial if the leader reviews what has been discussed to recap the events. At this time, if there are tasks that have been delegated, it is important to make certain that everyone knows their job and understands their deadlines. This way there will be no confusion.
 
4. Take minutes:
Another way to lessen misunderstandings of what has taken place within the meeting is to designate someone to take good notes. These notes do not necessarily have to be a detailed transcript of what has been said, rather, they should serve as a summary of the decisions that were made about each topic. After the meeting, copies of the minutes should be distributed to everyone who may be affected by what has taken place at the meeting. This includes everyone who attended the meeting as well as management and personnel who were not in attendance but still need to be aware of the decisions that were made.
 
Meetings, when facilitated properly, can be very useful tools in increasing productivity in the workplace. Remember to use the tips above to get the most out of your meeting and to spare valuable time for yourself and your colleagues.
 
 
 
 
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