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You Can Have Good Meetings With a Little Planning

When was the last time you heard anyone-including yourself-say that they were really looking forward to a meeting? And, when was the last time you heard someone say that they went to a great meeting yesterday? Meetings are mostly dreaded occasions but we cannot live without them. Here are some ideas from business owners for improving the experience and outcome of meetings.

First, develop a written agenda for each meeting and distribute it prior to the event to give everyone attending a chance to prepare. Stick to the timelines by beginning on time, getting through the agenda and ending on time. Make sure the attendees are relevant to the issues that will be discussed and potentially decided upon. When decisions are made, make sure that someone is designated to be responsible for implementation and that there is clear agreement on the desired target date and outcomes.

Include in the agenda time for progress reports on the previously assigned tasks. This helps underscore the accountability each person attending has. Consider rotating the chair of the meeting, if appropriate. The chair should always have the responsibility of developing the agenda with input form attendees and getting the agenda out on time. This could be a good growth opportunity for everyone involved. Make sure that someone takes minutes and is responsible for distributing them in a timely manner to all attendees. By next day is a good service objective. There is an old saying that the person who takes the minutes has the control. So recording and distributing meeting minutes is a good way for some surprising people in your company to shine.