Saturday, April 14, 2007

10 things you can do to organize and lead effective meetings

It's easy to disparage those tedious meetings that are run by someone else--but are your own meetings any more useful and productive? These pointers will help ensure that your colleagues don't cringe every time they receive a meeting notice with your name on it.

Every so often, you may find yourself walking out of a meeting feeling hopeful and energized by the ground that was covered, the ideas that emerged, and the issues that were resolved. A meeting like that doesn't happen by accident. Someone took the time to consider and define its purpose and to manage the process effectively.

here is the pdf file

IT consultant Shannon Kalvar put together a list of 10 suggestions for planning, organizing, and conducting successful meetings. For example:

* Know what action you expect from the meeting. Meetings draw people away from their daily tasks and into a closed, influenced environment. As the organizer, you have the attendees' attention. It's up to you to use it wisely. The moment you squander it, the meeting grinds to a halt. Spend a few minutes before the meeting trying to answer the following question: 'What do I expect the attendees to DO at the end of this meeting?'

* Never send a meeting to do a conversation's work. Electronic messaging systems give us the power to invite everyone and everything in the organization to our meetings. But the power to do something doesn't make it a wise choice. If you need to speak to only one or two of the meeting's attendees, just go to their cubes and have a conversation. It takes less time and communicates more information.

* Maintain focus. In every meeting, someone derails the discussion with a host of tangents that detract from the meeting's real goal. Do not let this happen to your meeting. Cut off speakers who want to ramble on about related but unimportant issues. Develop and maintain a reputation as a hard, organized meeting leader so that people don't challenge your authority during the meeting itself.

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