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8 Rules for Making Your Meetings More Productive

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When I started Growthink over a decade ago, I thought I knew more about management then I did.

One of the things I clearly did wrong was running meetings. Looking back, it pains me to think of the literally hundreds of hours lost on inefficient meetings.

Fortunately, over the years, my team and I have read and tried pretty much every technique for making meetings more efficient, and boiled it down to just 8 essential rules.

Following them will make you and your team MUCH more productive. Here's my list of the 8 rules:

1. Start on time. If 3 people wait an average of 2 minutes per meeting for the fourth to arrive, that adds up to hours of lost productivity over the year. It's also extremely frustrating, and starting a meeting in a state of frustration kills creativity.

2. Have a written agenda. Ideally circulate your agenda 24 hours in advance of the meeting so that you and all the participants are as prepared as possible.

3. Everyone must participate. In meetings you want to encourage all viewpoints so you can make the best decisions. So get everyone involved.

4. Stick to a schedule. The entire meeting and each agenda item must have a time limit.  If an individual agenda item goes long, revisit it at the end of the meeting (if there's time), or schedule another meeting to discuss it. The discussion for each agenda item should end only when specific action item(s) have been determined, written down, and assigned.

5. Stay on topic. While it's ok to go off on an occasional tangent, you must guide the discussion back on topic. The agenda and time limits will help with this.

6. Don't hold unnecessary meetings. If you have trouble creating the agenda (in that there's nothing too important to discuss), it might mean that you shouldn't hold the meeting in the first place.

7. End meetings with complete clarity regarding the key action items and who will complete them. This is key. Coming up with great ideas during a meeting is meaningless, unless those ideas are documented and assigned to individuals to execute on.

8. Improve. Every five or ten meetings, get feedback from your group regarding ways to improve how your meetings are run.

These 8 rules will make your meetings more productive, and you and your team will accomplish much more and be much more successful!

For tons of other productivity tips and tactics, check out my Productivity Secrets for Entrepreneurs here.


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Cliff Early says

Look forward to more information
Posted at 9:57 am
KABHURO says

Please, find here procedures for conducting succesful meetings in the modern management meetings. Kitiyo Patrick
Posted at 10:49 am
KABHURO says

Dear Agnes, Please,find attached a very interesting article on Board meeting which I feel it would be of great importance to you as you always get involved in meetings. Kitiyo Patrick
Posted at 10:51 am

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