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March 16, 2009

Save Time, Save Money – Improve Meetings

Filed under: General HR Buzz8:26 am

Times are tight and so is time, if everyone could improve meetings we would all save time, money and aggravation.

We all live our lives attending meetings – staff meetings, management meetings, board meetings, project meetings, then we go home, gobble our dinner and run to a PTA meeting, school meeting, scout meeting or church meeting.

When was the last time someone told you they were actually looking forward to attending one of these meetings? Probably never, right?  Well its no wonder, most people running meetings have never been trained how to conduct a good meeting; and if they were they have forgetten all they learned.  This leads to meetings that are inefficient, too long, boring, and waste time and money.

Here are some helpful reminders when preparing for and running your next meeting.

  • Identify your meeting objectives (what you want to accomplish) before the meeting.
  • Plan your agenda. A good agenda outlines the steps you will take to accomplish the objectives.
  • Communicate meeting objectives and agenda to participants in advance of the meeting.
  • Ask participants to prepare in advance by reading reports, minutes, etc. before the meeting.
  • Start meeting on time, stay on time, and stop on time.
  • Ecourage open communication, ask what people think and listen to what they say.
  • Respect participants’ time and ideas.
  • Summarize action steps at the close of the meeting.
  • Ask participants how the meeting could be improved for next time.
  • Act on the actions after the meting.

I know these may be painfully obvious to some of you but so is eating right, and exercising. We know we are supposed to do it, but we forget. So, the next time you plan a meeting, remember these tips. You’ll be glad you did.

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