How to Have a Successful Meeting

We've all been there: stuck in another endless meeting, pinching ourselves to stay awake, daydreaming about all the productive things we could be doing instead. It doesn't have to be this way.

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Psychologists are getting in on advising people how to have successful business meetings, and their input is improving communication and productivity. The Meetology Group has designed a meeting audit tool to measure attendee experiences at the meeting, and whether their creativity and productivity were affected. However, you don't have to use the tool to make your meetings more productive. You can learn to lead successful meetings by using the same tenets of behavioral psychology.

Make Decisions Before Meetings

This sounds counter-intuitive, but as is pointed out in Psychology Today, the most productive meetings are designed to support decisions already made. It is not productive to try to make decisions during meetings.

Instead of asking everybody to weigh in on an issue and come to an agreement, call the meeting go over the decision management has made and answer questions.

Action Plans

A meeting should end with an action plan. When people leave a meeting with a new task, they are most likely to feel energized and productive. They may be eager to get started on their new assignment. A meeting that ends with no action plan more likely ends with people wandering slowly out of the meeting room, perhaps conversing with each other about non-work issues. It takes them longer to get back to their work stations.

Watch That Clock

Start the meeting on time, and don't accommodate late-comers by repeating for them what they missed. That is not fair to those who showed upon on time. Latecomers may get missed information from a colleague after the meeting.

Don't tolerate side conversations, and make sure the meeting discussion stays on point. If somebody seems to be hijacking the conversation to discuss off-topic subjects, stop him. Don't waste time.

The prize when you don't waste time is that you can end the meeting early. This gives participants the impression that they have been given the gift of extra time to get work done.

Tell Us What You Think

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