October 10, 2016
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Running a good meeting is an art with focus. Gretchen Ruben’s Tips for Running a Good Meeting deserve to be shared with you. She hits the nail on the head as you will see from this terrifically concise list that Gretchen has written. These are great tips that you will want to share with anyone who runs a meeting.
Start on time, and end on time. Once people see that meetings are starting late, the bad habit builds, because people see there’s no point in showing up promptly.
At the same time, remember that it’s helpful to spend a little time in chit-chat. For a long time, I didn’t believe this to be true, and I tried to be hyper-efficient, but now I realize that it’s important – and productive – for people to have a chance to relate on a personal level.
If some people hesitate to jump in, find a way to draw them out. Ability to grab the floor doesn’t necessarily correlate with capacity to contribute.
One of the most insightful things my father ever told me was, “If you’re willing to take the blame, people will give you the responsibility.” Meetings often involve blame-giving and blame-taking, and although it’s not pleasant to accept blame, it’s a necessary aspect of getting responsibility.
Share the credit. Along with blame, a meeting is also a great place to give people credit for their ideas and accomplishments. Be quick to point out great work or to call for a round of applause for a colleague.
Have an agenda and stick to it. If possible, circulate the agenda in advance, along with anything else that needs to be read to prepare for the meeting. Make sure people know if they should bring anything.
Never go to a meeting if you don’t know why you’re supposed to be there!
Be very specific about what the “action items” are. Who is agreeing to do what, by when? Make sure someone is keeping track of what is supposed to happen as a consequence of the meeting, and at the meeting’s end, review these items so it’s crystal clear to everyone. Decide how to follow up.
If a meeting is long, schedule breaks when people can check their email and phones. Otherwise, they get very distracted by feeling they’ve been out of touch for too long (for some people, this takes about ten minutes), and they start sneakily emailing under the table.
Meetings should stay tightly focused. If people want a chance to discuss side issues, theoretical problems, or philosophical questions that aren’t relevant to the purpose of the meeting, they should set up a separate meeting.
Here’s a radical solution: no chairs. In Bob Sutton’s terrific book, The No A**** Rulehttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=thehappproj-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0446526568, he points to a study that showed that people in meetings where everyone stood took 34% less time to make an assigned decision, with decisions that were just as good as those made by groups who were sitting down.
“People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.” - Thomas Sowell
“Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.”
- John Kenneth Galbraith
Let's Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done,
Dick Axelrod, Emily Axelrod

Ugh—meetings. They’re where productivity goes to die, right? There has to be a better way. According to leading consultants Dick and Emily Axelrod, there is. 

The Axelrods outline a flexible and adaptable system used to run truly productive meetings in all kinds of organizations—meetings where people create concrete plans, accomplish tasks, build connections, and move projects forward. They show how to design every aspect of a meeting so that real work actually gets done. Those who have adopted this system will never go back. Neither will you. Click here.

P.S.  Want immediate help with your confident communication...every time! My CONFIDENT series is just for you starting with "Confident Business Communication Etiquette"It contains all the tips, techniques and strategies you need right now to communicate easily and effectively, faster than you ever thought possible. Click here.
To your success,

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