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Make Meetings More Productive By Defining Their Type

If you are hosting a meeting or you just have to attend one, it is important that you clarify the type of meeting if you want to make it more efficient. Everyone will be on the same page, and the meeting will be more productive as you will spend the time talking about what is important. Keeping in mind the type of the meeting, it becomes possible to make sure the conversation is on track. There are three major types of meetings with each type suited for a unique purpose:

Decision making: by the end of the meeting, the group should have made a decision on a certain issue. For example, whether to proceed with an investment plan, enter into a contract with another company, accept a proposal, etc.

Information sharing: the purpose of this type of meeting is for the host or the attendees to share information with each other regarding a particular issue such as a project status update, scheduled events, or updates on personal projects that everyone had been assigned.

Brainstorming: this type of meeting is purposed to come up with ideas or solutions like ways to approach a new topic or business area, coming up with new investment plans, or how to tackle a particular problem affecting the organization among others.

Include the goal of the meeting and the type of the meeting on the email sent to attendees ahead of time. Begin the meeting by clearly laying out what the goal is. It is also important to inform the attendees how long the meeting will take so that they can adjust their schedules accordingly. During the meeting, to avoid wasting time, make sure you stick to the purpose of the meeting. As the host of the meeting, you are the designated parent who is charged with the responsibility of steering the meeting.

Likewise, it is important to ensure that everyone is on time. You can set a few rules like the last person to arrive will be responsible for taking company notes. Or the last person to arrive should clean up the meeting room once the meeting is over.

It is also important to manage how much time is spent on gadgets such as laptops and cell phones. These gadgets are a distraction if not managed well and so unless they are absolutely necessary, they shouldn’t be brought to the meeting. Another way to manage the time spent on these gadgets is by introducing short breaks during the meeting for attendees to check their gadgets before the meeting resumes and they are required to stash away those gadgets.

In the end, you will have a productive meeting with very little time wasted.


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Sean Coyne

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