Here are ten things you can do to run more effective meetings.

1) Avoid meetings. Test the importance of a meeting by asking, “What’s going on?

without him?” If your answer is, “Nothing,” then don’t call the meeting.

2) Prepare goals. These are the results you want to get at the end of the

meeting. Write down your goals before meetings. They should be so clear

complete and specific that someone else could use them to conduct your meeting.

Also, make sure they can be accomplished with the people, resources, and time available.

Specific objectives help everyone to be efficient towards relevant results.

3) Challenge each goal. Ask: “Is there another way to accomplish this?” For example, yes

If you want to distribute information, you may find it more efficient to phone, FAX,

mail, email or visit. Realize that a meeting is a team activity. Save tasks that

they require a team effort for their meetings.

4) Prepare an agenda. Everyone knows that an agenda leads to an effective meeting. Still,

many people “save time” by not preparing an agenda. a meeting without

agenda is like a trip without a map. It is guaranteed to take more time and produce

less results. Keep in mind that without an agenda, you risk becoming someone else’s helper.

(see tip #6 below).

5) Inform others. Send the agenda before the meeting. That helps others prepare for

work with you in the meeting. Unprepared participants waste your time preparing

for the meeting during the meeting.

6) Take over. If you find yourself in a meeting with no agenda, walk away. Yew

You must stay, prepare an agenda at the meeting. Compile a list of problems, identify

the most important, and work on that. When you’re done, if there’s time left, select the

next big thing. Note: You can use a meeting without an agenda to

recruit help for your projects.

7) Focus on the problem. Avoid unrelated stories, jokes, and topics. Although

entertaining, waste time, distract attention and deceive others. save the fun for

social occasions where it will be appreciated.

8) Be selective. Invite only those who can contribute to achieving your goals for the

meeting. Crowds of observers and supporters bog down progress at a meeting.

9) Time budget. No one would spend $1000 on a 10ยข pencil, but they often spend

40 employee hours on trivia. Time budget in proportion to the value of the issue. For

For example, you might say, “I want a decision on this in 10 minutes. That means

evaluate it for the next 9 minutes, followed by a vote.”

10) Use structured activities in your meetings. These process tools keep you in

control while ensuring equitable participation and systematic progress toward

results.