How to Make Your Business Meetings More Productive

August 27, 2012

Company meetings are expensive in terms of an aggregate amount of time spent by those in attendance. And let’s face it—for most of us—meetings don’t rank very high on the “fun things to do at work” list. However, since we cannot get rid of meetings altogether, you should look at ways to make them more efficient.

To help you have more successful and productive business meetings, Dale Carnegie Training has 6 tips for getting the most out of your next meeting.

  1. Plan Ahead And Be Prepared — Before you head out to your next meeting, prepare the questions or issues that you would like to have addressed, and think about what you would like to accomplish during the meeting. Also, it is helpful if you send a quick email asking everyone involved to go through the same process.
  2. Open Your Mind To Someone Else’s Ideas — Go into a meeting with the attitude that you will learn something new. Fully listen to others before speaking. Instead of interrupting, write your thoughts down and address them at an appropriate time. Be careful not to criticize other people for their thoughts and ideas.
  3. Take Good Notes — Taking good notes will help you organize what you are learning as well as make a permanent record of what you have learned for future reference. Notes are helpful to use for summarizing at the end of the meeting, too.
  4. Ask Questions To Clarify Action Items — Don’t hesitate to ask questions to clarify what has been said or agreed upon. Be sure to keep your questions clear and concise so everyone can be on board with both questions and answers.
  5. Offer Ideas and Solutions — Offering ideas and possible solutions will make you feel more involved in the meeting and help to help prevent your mind from wandering. If you have an idea that you feel is important, share it! Sharing often sparks new ideas and adds energy to a meeting.
  6. Summarize Action Items — When the meeting is finished, review your notes openly as a way to not only reinforce what was discussed in the meeting, but to also assign action items and due dates to projects. If your notes are all over the place, rewrite and organize them. This is a great way to keep track of important details.

Remember…successful meetings are those that are properly managed. Use these tips to make the most out of your meetings, as successful meetings lead to successful organizations.

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