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If You Don’t Know the Purpose of Your Meeting, You Are Prohibited From Starting

Updated: Jun 17, 2021

We've gone WAY overboard on meetings over the past year because it's so easy to set up and accept virtual meetings.

So, let's take a breath and rethink what we're doing. First, make sure you even need a meeting, then read on for ways to get the most out of your time:

  • Plan in Advance: Take time to identify the purpose, content and results.

  • Communicate the Goal: Start the meeting with a clear goal, and ensure the important topics are discussed before the meeting is over. Communicate the meeting process and the time allocated for the meeting.

  • Start and End on Time: And why does every meeting have to be an hour? If you have 20 minutes of content, block 30 minutes and end early.

  • Take Action: Recap who's doing what at the end of the meeting. Be clear and set deadlines for getting action items done.

Practice these strategies the next time you’re leading a meeting:

  1. It’s time to move onto another subject: "We have 20 minutes left and two other items. Let’s conclude this topic to ensure we have time for the remaining items."

  2. You need to get other opinions: "You make a very compelling argument. Let's make sure others have a chance to share their views before we agree on this plan of action."

  3. Someone goes on a tangent: “Let’s get back to the agenda so we can end on time.”

  4. Something needs more investigation: “What you’re saying is important. Let’s schedule time off-line to take a deeper dive and report back to this group.”

  5. You need agreement on something: "Before we go, do we all agree on the next steps that we've created?"

  6. You are running out of time: "It sounds like our discussion will take longer than the 5 minutes we have left. Given that, let's spend this time generating a list of issues for our next meeting."

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