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Simple ways to make meetings more effective

Business meetings can often be a drag. Some go longer than they are supposed to and others involve people talking so much that the meeting ends up completely off topic.

But not all meetings have to be boring or time-wasting. When conducted properly, meetings can make everyone’s job much easier. Including breaks, having a short ‘walk and talk outside’ and following a tight starting schedule are all ways that can make meetings more efficient, productive and even a little bit of fun for those in attendance.

Here are five simple ways to regain control to have more productive meetings in your workplace:

Set a clear schedule ahead of time: Since it is always helpful when people are fully prepared for a meeting, those in charge of organising a meeting should send out a clear outline of the meeting well in advance to those attending to give them time to prepare.

Assign who will be in charge: It is important to pick someone to lead the meeting who is comfortable and will be able to keep the meeting on track. Those who are trusted and respected by employees often make the best candidates.

Have a device-free meeting: Make it a rule to have a ‘device-free’ meeting to put distractions like emails, phone calls and notifications to one side.

Keep the meeting small: Having too many people at a meeting can render it ineffective. Only invite those who will make an important contribution to the meeting.

Take your meeting outside: If there is no paperwork involved, try having a ‘walk and talk’ meeting outside. Alternatively, you could organise the meeting to take place at a local cafe for a relaxed, comfortable setting to talk.

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