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Monday, January 12, 2009

How to Run a Good Meeting

How often do you dread the never-ending weekly meeting? Like most, you dread it every time you think about it.

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Meetings should be used for both the dissemination of information, as well as the creation of new information. To do both successfully and in a timely manner, a few simple rules should be followed.

1. Have an agenda. An agenda lets all attendees know what will be discussed and allows them to be ready with questions, updates, etc.

2. Stick to the agenda! The meeting leader needs to exercise discipline and stay on topic. If you are a participant, bring up non-agenda items at the end of the meeting.

3. If you are the meeting leader, pay attention! Few things diminish the value of a meeting more than having the meeting leader fiddling with their Blackberry or working on their laptops.

4. The meeting leader should be willing to question whether a weekly meeting makes sense. If its just for updates, would a Wiki be a better option? Is the meeting covering the same information as another meeting? Could this meeting be held every two weeks?

Meetings can be very beneficial, provided that attendees are prepared, information is communicated, and that it is only as long as it needs to be. Following these basic rules and principles, people will actually not dread meetings you lead.

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