Three Ways for More Productive Meetings

Joseph Stubblebine
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Business owners and managers alike understand the importance of meetings. Productive meetings are a great way to solicit feedback and disseminate information. They help you keep all of your staff or team members advised of changes to operations and can foster a sense of teamwork and camaraderie when used properly. There are three ways that you can help ensure you enjoy productive meetings whenever you need to draw your staff together for almost any business-related conference.

Planning is important when it comes to crafting productive meetings. You should know exactly what information you plan to deliver or solicit well in advance of the meeting itself. This will allow you to invite only those people who have access to the insight and data that lets them help you come to the right decisions or improves their ability to perform their work. Business leaders who prepare their game plans in advance are more easily able to adapt to the unexpected, whether that comes in the form of suggestions or unforeseen events that may delay or impinge upon your plans.

Another of the best ways to increase productivity is to get your meeting attendees to speak their minds. You selected these people because you value their insight or need to ensure that they understand important concepts that you seek to deliver, and it is very hard to ensure you are meeting these goals when you are the only one speaking. This does not mean you should lose control of the proceedings, but allowing each person to speak individually and encouraging feedback or questions can result in more productive meetings. Remember that you are not a lecturer presenting a dissertation but rather a leader inspiring and organizing a team of professionals.

The third way to increase productivity and make the most of your meetings is to end them with a prepared closing round. This period of communication allows each person participating in the meeting to provide important feedback. Each person should be allowed to speak once, summarizing the information given and adding his or her own notes about the meeting. This is not a discussion; it is a chance to ensure that everyone has gleaned important information from the others and had a say on the issues at hand. Ending with this format can create a sense of closure and confirmation.

Productive meetings do not often spring into existence on their own. Careful planning, encouragement of communication, and ending with a closing round can help ensure that the time you spend in the meeting room is well worth the investment. Whether you are delivering information or soliciting feedback from your most trusted workers, productive meetings can give you and your company a springboard for new ideas and increased productivity.



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