4 Ways to Better Meetings

Karina Keith

How to make 30 minutes really count I’ve been a secretary to the board of many meetings, taking judicious, detailed notes on my laptop.  The …

How to make 30 minutes really count

I’ve been a secretary to the board of many meetings, taking judicious, detailed notes on my laptop.  The trouble is, my fingers often stilled, waiting for new information. A sign we weren’t progressing.  I often wondered if the chair of the fast typingmeeting noticed my relaxed fingers. I often hoped s/he would notice and take the hint. To me, if I wasn’t typing, we weren’t making headway.

Taking time for lengthy discussions about agenda items has its place. But I’ve been in many meetings where we circled the bandwagon on the same topic – over and over again. Fingers ready for action and waiting patiently.

Check out these 5 blogs for tools for better meetings and make your next meeting rocks.

1. 13 Ways to Fix Your Worst Meetings

Meetings are evolving and the spearheaders of this evolution are the Gen-Y ers (the fastest growing segment in today’s workforce).  As a whole, they often prefer to communicate via technology versus face-to-face. In this Inc. blog post, young entrepreneurs share their insights on how they chair their meetings to keep them fresh and the talent interested. My fave, 10 minute meetings where everyone stands up. Give it a try.

2. 10 Proven Ways to Run Great Meetings
This blog post includes a rundown of obvious – but often forgotten – meeting best practices.  The ideas are structured in a check-list format that should be reviewed monthly.  “Inviting people who actually do the work” seems like a trivial tip – but it’s a far too common mistake. Decisions are made and oops, we forgot to ask Jim from Finance.  Having implentors in the room at decision time prevents these types of roadblocks.

3. Start-up Speed

This great article explains how Google uses grassroots for keeping its people in touch during periods of high growth and how it produces lots of inspiring ideas. “Every decision-oriented meeting should have a clear decision-maker, and if it didn’t, the meeting shouldn’t happen…everyone who attends should provide input. If someone has no input to give, then perhaps they shouldn’t be there. That’s okay – attending meetings isn’t a badge of honor.” It’s a powerful reminder to shape up or ship out.

4. 5 Ways to Lead a Meeting: Make 30 Decisions in 30 Minutes

This Forbes post focuses on how to make meetings productive and not waste people’s time. So productive in fact that with the tips suggested, a decision should be made every minute. “Remember to always make your meetings matter.”

To be an effective meeting facilitator, incorporate these tips into your next meeting and watch the productivity and meeting effectiveness increase. If there is a meeting secretary in the room, make sure the fingers are moving. If not, it’s time to re-think the level of productivity of your meetings.

For a more in-depth look at meetings, check out this pocket book, Good Meetings = Great Results.

Do you have ideas for better meetings? Feel free to leave a comment below or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you could always write your own blog post on the subject and share it with us… We’d love to read it!

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Karina Keith is a consultant with CornerStone Dynamics Inc. 'Katching up with Karina' blogs focus on the top web finds for the month. Aligning project goals along with truly understanding what motivates people to get their jobs done is what Karina does best.

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