Here are ten things that you can do to make your meetings more effective.
1) Avoid meetings. Test the importance of a meeting by asking, “What happens without it?” If your answer is, “Nothing,” then don’t call the meeting.
2) Prepare goals. These are the results you want to obtain by the end of the meeting. Write out your goals before the meetings. They should be so clear, complete, and specific that someone else could use them to lead your meeting. Also, make sure they can be achieved with available people, resources, and time. Specific goals help everyone make efficient progress toward relevant results.
3) Challenge each goal. Ask, “Is there another way to achieve this?” For example, if you want to distribute information, you may find it more efficient to phone, FAX, mail, E-mail, or visit. Realize that a meeting is a team activity. Save tasks that require a team effort for your meetings.
4) Prepare an agenda. Everyone knows an agenda leads to an effective meeting. Yet, many people “save time” by neglecting to prepare an agenda. A meeting without an agenda is like a journey without a map. It is...