Summary of Make Meetings Matter

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Do you dread meetings? At their worst, they can be aimless, boring and discouraging. However, at their best, meetings can be productive – even energizing. Charlie Hawkins shows you how to make that happen. He deconstructs meeting dynamics and offers tips for planning, running and ending meetings seamlessly. In well-structured lessons, he explains why meetings sometimes falter and equips you with the tools you need to keep them on course. Whether you are organizing a one-on-one session or gathering your whole team, getAbstract encourages you to boost your meeting IQ with this quick review of the basics.

About the Author

Charlie Hawkins is a professional communications consultant for Vistage International.



Meeting Basics

To get the results you want from the meetings you run, plan ahead. Consider each of the four fundamentals of planning: “purpose, people, place and preparation.” The first rule of meetings is that they must have a purpose. Perhaps your purpose is to exchange information, to report back on initiatives or to hear a presentation. Or maybe you want to offer new training or set objectives for your company. Determine the session’s purpose during a pre-meeting with the “facilitator,” “recorder” and participants with assigned roles in the meeting. Link that defined purpose to specific plans and outcomes. Then prepare your full participant list and agenda. Communicate your meeting’s purpose and goals ahead of time to everyone who is going to attend.

Be direct and honest about the purpose of your meetings. For instance, don’t organize a meeting to brainstorm solutions to a problem if what you really want is to garner support for your own ideas. Making people labor under the weight of a hidden purpose is extremely unproductive.

Too many or too few participants can make a meeting unproductive, so consider what group size best fits your purpose. Large groups...

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