Great meetings create efficiency. This Blog is based on an original article written by Dan Rockwell and it seems to me to contain a lot of common sense!

1. Ban electronic devices. Everyone will be anxious to end the meeting if they can’t read or send texts or emails.
2. Send background materials at least a week before the meeting – this will allow participants time to read the relevant documents. Meet with a key player who can gather and summarize materials for the team. Review and approve all background information before it’s sent to participants.
3. State the purpose of the meeting when you send out the agenda. State the purpose again at the beginning of the meeting. A meeting without a purpose is a complete waste of time.
4. Establish action items on the agenda, not discussion points. State what needs to be accomplished. Start each meeting with a review of the actions agreed from the previous meeting and hold people accountable. If they haven’t completed the action(s) they took responsibility for at the last meeting, you need to know why. Don’t accept excuses for non-action!
5. Ask people for their conclusion when they begin speaking. Teach teammates to get to the point quickly by asking:
• What’s your conclusion?
• What’s your recommendation?
• What do you want?
6. Minimize one-way communication. Leverage two-way, real-time communication.
7. Limit the number of participants to five or six at most. Small groups:
• Increase ownership.
• Elevate responsibility.
• Shorten the time needed for the meeting.
• Expose drifters. Drifters can’t hide in small groups.
8. End at the appointed time. Teach people that you stick with the agenda.
9. Don’t reward tardiness by reviewing.
10. Send meeting results:
• Review decisions made.
• List follow up responsibilities and agreed actions. The person who doesn’t have something to do after the meeting, shouldn’t have attended the meeting.
• Include deadlines for actions need to be completed.

If you adopt the above approach, your meetings will become more purposeful and productive and take less time.

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