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Do the meetings you hold tend run off the rails?

Do you find that they frequently run far longer than you intended and that very little actually comes out of them?

If those things are true and if you’re looking for ways to improve the structure of your meetings, here are some quick tips that will help make them more effective:

1 – Consider Your Attendees Carefully

Unless someone’s presence is essential at any given meeting, don’t send them an invite.  Keep the circle as small as possible.  The fewer people, the easier it is to keep the meeting on track.

2 – Laser-Like Focus

Create an agenda for the meeting and stick to it.  Don’t try to do too much.  Focus on one item or two at the most and then hammer out the details and move on.

3 – Prompt Follow-Up

The first two items on this list will practically guarantee that your meeting time is shorter but it won’t necessarily guarantee that the meeting itself was fruitful and productive.

For that, you need quick follow ups, and part of the content of the meeting should be to set aggressive timetables on when deliverables are due.

Once those timeframes are set, it’s on you to follow up and make sure that everybody’s on track and the deliverables will be wherever they need to be by the agreed upon time.

If you adopt these strategies, you may find that you’ll have relatively more meetings than you’re having right now.  The good news is that those meetings will tend to be short, tightly focused, and productive.  In other words, they’ll simply be more effective meetings and at the end of the day, that’s exactly what you want!

Try it and see for yourself.  If you put these tips in practice during your next meeting, you’ll be amazed at the difference.


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