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Making Meetings Better
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Let's be honest now. Nobody really likes, much less enjoys, meetings. Many people tend to view meetings as a waste of time that cuts in on productivity and the hours they could be spending to actually get some real work done. This is not to say that all meetings are useless, of course. Meetings can be conducted to work out a solution to an existing problem, brainstorm, and come up with a different concept for a project. However, there are many instances in which meetings are actually unnecessary. That is why you have to learn how to conduct better meetings and know when it's necessary to call for one.

For starters, you might want to forgo those meetings in which people are simply expected to provide updates on the status of a particular project. You don't need a meeting to accomplish that. People can simply write a report and e-mail it to you, which will save time and will not require pulling everyone out of work for an hour or two. Only when there are issues to be addressed should you actually call a meeting so you can get everyone's feedback and determine the right solutions.

If you are going to call a meeting, make sure that you have a good idea what you want to accomplish during the meeting. By setting objectives for what you will be discussing, you can all remain focused on the subject at hand rather than shift from one topic to another. At the end of the meeting, you will be able to easily evaluate whether you did indeed make progress.

Learn how to keep meetings brief. Meetings that run too long will result in random discussions that have nothing to do with the subject matter to be discussed, especially if the original topic has already been resolved.

In addition, you should learn how to call for meetings less frequently. You don't need to have meetings every week. Do so and meetings will lose their purpose and meaning. Helen, an advertising executive, remembers a boss who would call for weekly meetings just so he can be kept updated on what they achieved in the previous week. Those meetings tended to make people feel panicked especially when there was really nothing to report and they were simply doing basic tasks at the time and not working on a major project.

Remember that meetings should not leave people feeling that they just wasted an hour or two of their lives. Meetings should increase workplace productivity. If you don't have any real agenda or objective, you might want to think twice about calling for one.

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