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Overcoming Common Problems in Meetings

We all have been in meetings that get off topic, run too long, or weren't needed in the first place. Here is how to handle some of the most common difficulties in a meeting:

One Person Dominates the Conversation- "Joe, I love all of your ideas. Let's get input from everyone else."

Someone Not Participating- "Brenda, do you have any thoughts on this subject?"

Getting Sidetracked- "Everyone, we have 30 minutes left in this meeting and four other subjects we need to cover. Let's finish this discussion offline. You four are in charge of that."

No Action Plan at End of Meeting- "We have 5 minutes left. We agreed on ________ and need it done by _______. ______ is in charge of ______. Does everyone agree?"

As a facilitator in a meeting, make sure everyone is involved and you create an environment where different ideas are welcomed. Stick to the agenda and keep an eye on time to keep things moving. Always end a meeting with action items and follow up in writing to make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the outcomes of the meeting.


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