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Friday, August 6, 2010

Productive Meeting Tips

There are meetings happening every day, across the county - in board rooms, over breakfast tables, by phone and online. However they are organized, meetings take time away from people's work days, and as we all know, time is money. Optimizing your meetings is a beneficial way to make the most of everyone's time and resources. Tiger Leasing has put together a list of tips to help you make the most of your meeting times!

Productive Meeting Tips:

  • Use your email - When you need to share news or updates with a team, rather than scheduling a meeting, use your email. Send out a mass email with the news to all of the parties concerned. This will save time and resources.

  • Tailor your guest list - Only invite participants that need to be there. Inviting unnecessary meeting attendees will only add to the confusion and length of a meeting.

  • Share an agenda - Create action steps or a To-Do list for your meetings. When you schedule the meeting, share your agenda with those that will be attending. This will allow everyone to be on the same page as to the purpose of the meeting. This also gives everyone time to prepare, so that they are ready with the resources and answers you will be expecting from them.

  • Get there early - Arrive at the meeting site early so that you can set up for your meeting. When you ask people to take time out of their day to meet with you, be prepared for them. Are there plenty of available seats? Does the space have the necessary technology?

  • Avoid Mondays and Fridays - For most people Mondays are filled with bursting inboxes and trying to schedule the rest of the week. Fridays are often spent finishing up projects or even out of the office on an early weekend. Make your meeting times work for as many people as possible, so you won't have to spend time rescheduling or catching people up on things they missed.

  • Bring extras - It's always a good idea to print off a few extra copies of any materials you'll be using in the meeting. Whether someone spilled their coffee on the spreadsheet you sent out, or an extra guest shows up, it's always better to be prepared.

  • Control the tangents - A discussion can quickly elevate to a disagreement and even full on arguments. Reign speakers in and mediate so that the meeting remains focused and productive. Don't be afraid to take control and guide the meeting back on track.

  • Establish an end time - When you schedule a meeting, you determine a time to start it. Too often, we fail to establish when the meeting will be over. By creating an ending time before the meeting, you will be able to keep your participants engaged. This also shows that you respect their time, as this practice allows everyone to schedule other aspects of their day.

  • Send out recaps - After a meeting is over, take the time to record what happened and what needs to get done. Send out a recap of the meeting, including what the next steps are. This will keep you organized, and everyone else on the same page. This will help with team accountability and organization as well.

  • Rethink standing meetings - When you have weekly or monthly standing meetings, you can get sucked into the routine. Evaluate the purpose of the meeting, and determine how necessary it really is. Make sure you continue those weekly meetings because they are still important, not just because you get stuck in the routine.

  • Keep distractions to a minimum - Ask that cell phones be kept on vibrate, discourage participants from checking emails or making phone calls during your meeting. For longer meetings, schedule breaks so that participants can access their technology. Things will get done quicker and more efficiently if you are able to minimize the distractions.

  • Be consistent - When people know what to expect from the meetings you run, they will be appreciative. Set the tone of your meeting, consistently deliver productive, focused meetings and your co-workers will return the favor.


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posted by Tiger Leasing @ 9:10 AM

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