Each day in the U.S., there are 55 million meetings. These events can be productive endeavors or time-wasting black holes. Here are some tips to have winning and not wasteful meetings:
- Prepare an agenda. Have a plan for the meeting, and invite others to suggest agenda items in advance.
- Strictly adhere to time, attendance, and punctuality. Respect people’s time; set a specific timeframe for the meeting, and stick with it.
- Control discussion flow. Don’t let any one person dominate or take over the conversation. Give everyone an opportunity to talk. If someone is especially shy, encourage or invite that person to speak; but don’t force anyone to share their thoughts openly.
- If you are the meeting leader, save your opinions for last.
- Confirm someone else’s position before you disagree with or correct it.
- Before the meeting ends, do a brief recap to highlight key takeaways.
- Distribute a Same Day Summary (SDS) as soon as possible after the meeting.
- Send out the SDS from the last meeting a day or two before the next meeting.