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Tips on Running an Efficient and Effective Meeting


As a leader having efficient and effective meetings is so important to every aspect of running a successful business.  Meetings that aren’t productive are a waste valuable time and cost the company money.

Here are some tips on how to run a productive meeting:

  • Have a written agenda in advance and distribute before the meeting so attendees have time to read it and write down questions or concerns.  If the attendees do have questions or concerns request in the invitation for them to send their questions in advance so they can be addressed in the meeting.
  • Establish ground rules, etiquette, adhering to schedule and staying on topic.  Ask everyone to put away detractions such as: cell phones, iPads and to focus on what is being discussed except for the note taker.
  • Invite people who need to be there, the decision makers and experts on the subject.
  • Encourage open discussion but stick to the agenda time line.
  • Redirect the “off topic” discussions to be addressed later.
  • Plan breaks if more than two hours.
  • Have someone other than the meeting leader to take notes and distribute them after the meeting.
  • Meeting notes are a good reminder of what was discuss and follow-up action steps of who is responsible to get things accomplished.

Here are some examples when meetings are NOT productive or efficient:

  • No agenda, very disorganized and complete chaos.  The big question “Why are here”?
  • Attendees get off topic.
  • People talk over each other.
  • Private side conversations in the meeting when someone else is talking to the group.
  • Attendees on their cell phones texting, answering emails and/or looking at Facebook instead of participating in the meeting.

Having set ground rules and behavior etiquette is so important to running successful meetings. Being organized and prepared is critical.  Being courteous and respectful allows everyone to speak, to be heard, participate, engaged and this is when great results will happen.  As a leader, we lead by example and if we are not focused and engaged; our employees will not be either.  ~ Patti

Discussion Questions:

  1. From your past experiences “What was a productive meeting”?
  2. From your past experiences “How did you feel attending meetings when nothing was accomplished”?
  3. Were these tips helpful?  Why or why not?

Comments are always welcome and please share this post with your colleagues, friends, family and on your social networks!

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3 thoughts on “Tips on Running an Efficient and Effective Meeting

  1. Great post Patti. I like meetings that have a timed agenda which includes the desired outcome for each agenda item e.g. a decision is needed etc. Sian

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