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How to Manage Meetings

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How to Manage Meetings

Kogan Page,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

None of us is as smart as all of us – which is why you should learn to run effective meetings.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Alan Barker knows just about everything about meetings, and in this somewhat academic discussion of the ubiquitous business meeting, he outlines it all for you – quite literally, as the book consists almost entirely of headings, bullet points, sidebars and drills. Using this easy-to-read structure, Barker presents a variety of insightful ways to look at problems and inspire creative thinking. getAbstract recommends this book to managers who wonder why their meetings go on for so long yet fail to lead to action. Meeting-wise, it leaves no stone unturned.


"A Group Thinking Together"

Never call a meeting just to talk. Ultimately, the talk should lead to action. Every participant has a role to play in making this happen. Managers should call meetings to discuss problems, set a definitive course of action, dictate policy, and build or dismantle initiatives.

Meetings enable individuals working on different parts of a problem to come together and see the whole picture. In a meeting, you can solve problems, reconcile differences and whip up the team’s enthusiasm. When participants share information and experiences in meetings, they come up with ideas and insights they could not have achieved by themselves.

Although a meeting is a group endeavor, one leader usually makes the final decisions – and rightly so, because someone must take responsibility. Consensus can lead to decisions, but to ensure implementation, an individual should be the final judge.

Meetings often do not accomplish their goals because:

  • They are poorly managed.
  • They are unnecessary, for example, their purpose is to "rubber stamp" a policy or to distribute information the convener could easily have disseminated in a memo.

About the Author

Alan Barker is a learning consultant and managing partner for a company that provides training in communication techniques and flexible thinking. He is the author of Improve Your Communication Skills.

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