Meetings are something that we can’t seem to live without.  However, they can often become lengthy and leave us feeling like we don’t have time to accomplish any real work. So, when leading a meeting, it’s important to consider the preparations you can make to keep your meetings short and to the point. Here are some tips for running more effective and more efficient meetings:

  1. Create an agenda – If you are leading a meeting, create an agenda and distribute it to all attendees. This will give everyone a better idea of the purpose of the meeting and it will help ensure that all the critical items you wanted to discuss get covered.
  2. Assign a timekeeper – This is another tool that will help you ensure you cover all the items from your agenda.  It will also help the meeting get back on track if the discussion starts to get off topic.
  3. Stand-up meetings – The idea is to have all participants stand during the meeting so they are less tempted to get comfortable and drag it on longer than necessary. This technique works great for daily meetings that aren’t meant to be more than ten or fifteen minutes.
  4. Create a list of action items – As issues are discussed assign action items to individuals with due dates.  Follow up on the action items at your next meeting to help keep people accountable.
  5. Send a meeting recap – After the meeting, send a recap to all attendees. Be sure to recap the action items with due dates so there is no confusion regarding who is responsible for each task and when it should be completed.
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