Two Criteria for Effective Meetings

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ProductivitySo, you have planned the meeting. The purpose is clear. You distributed the agenda. You know the dos and don’ts of effective meetings. Then you're all set, right?

I recently participated in a meeting that went so far off-track we needed a map and compass to get back to the office. This led to a discussion with the conclusion that we needed to have shorter, more focused meetings. It's a nice thought, but it won't happen unless the following two preconditions are met.

  1. Joint agreement. Unless everyone participating in a meeting agrees on the rules and guidelines and want brief and to the point meetings, even an experienced leader may find it difficult to stay on track.
  2. Assertive leadership. The chairman of the meeting needs to steer the meeting in the right direction, and have the mandate to do so. If not - despite the best of intentions - people will start drifting. In addition, the chairman must possess enough self-awareness not to sidetrack himself.

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