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6 Ways to make sure all meetings are productive

6 Ways to make sure all meetings are productive

A good friend of mine once said, “Time is the most valuable commodity in life because it is the one thing you cannot buy more of.” Too bad this adage doesn’t hold true at all businesses.

When you think about your workweek it might be astonishing, frustrating and a tad depressing to calculate how much time you spend in bad meetings.

Throughout my career, most recently at Porch.com, I have tried to pay attention to what makes great meetings great. It is a bit of an art, but it is something anyone can master. Here are some tips for people that need a little help.

  1. Set and send the agenda in advance – It’s hard to get anywhere in life without a sense of direction and  meetings are no different. Before you start, give people a heads up of what is going to be covered.
  2. Start your meetings on time – If you don’t start your meetings on time, chances are you won’t end on time.
  3. Make sure the right people are in the right meetings – How many times have you sat in a meeting that was literally standing room only? Why are all these people in the room?
  4. Meetings should be the right length – If you are good about setting an agenda with clear outcomes you will know when a meeting needs to end. If you can get done in 28 minutes when you thought needed 60 minutes, fantastic.
  5. Give every meeting a ‘parking lot’ – What do you do when you are in a meeting and you go way off topic, but the discussion is a good one to have? Put the idea in the “parking lot” and make a commitment to revisit that idea at a later date.
  6. Don’t end a meeting without a clear agreement on the next steps – Before you end your meetings make sure you recap any immediate actions and assign them to the appropriate owners. The worst thing that can happen is nobody follows up and then you have another meeting to talk about what you already discussed.

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