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How to have successful meetings

Poorly run meetings are a common frustration among many workers. Not only do they waste time and resources but they can be damaging to productivity levels.

Successful meetings are time-efficient and well-structured. Effective meetings have a clear purpose, prioritise important agenda items and minimise distractions. Here are three ways to improve the way you conduct meetings:

Write up a plan
Although it sounds obvious, planning ahead is the best way to ensure your meeting reaches its objective, addresses appropriate issues and sticks to the allocated time. It is best to write an agenda beforehand, detailing the topics that will be covered and the sequence and timing of each topic. An agenda will help to stay on time and redirect the discussion if the meeting goes off-topic.

Invite the right people
More people in a meeting does not guarantee success – in fact, it can have the opposite effect. Only invite the people that really need to be there. Employees will view their attendance as a waste of time if they feel they cannot contribute to the discussion or the issues discussed do not affect them.

Follow-up
Once the meeting has ended, send a short, succinct email to participants to recap the main points of the meeting. This can eliminate any confusion and ensure all staff members are on the same page. It is also a great chance to re-emphasise any points that were not addressed in enough detail. A follow-up email can also work as a gentle reminder to remind participants of the action steps that emerged from the meeting.


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