I have attended hundreds of meetings—maybe a few thousand—and led a few hundred, too. Often, meetings seem like a waste of time.
There have been some notable exceptions, and in this episode I talk about what made these meetings different.
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The good news is that most meetings can be improved. Here is my list of nine rules for leading more productive meetings.
- Rule 1: Be fully engaged.
- Rule 2: Establish hard edges.
- Rule 3: Create a written agenda.
- Rule 4: State the desired outcome.
- Rule 5: Lead the conversation.
- Rule 6: Review the minutes and action items.
- Rule 7: Take written minutes.
- Rule 8: Clarify action items.
- Start each action item with a verb.
- Specify the deliverable.
- Assign a single owner to each action.
- Agree on a due date.
Look, improving the quality of meetings takes work. Meetings don’t get better or more productive on their own. Every once in a while we need to step back from the meeting itself and ask, “How can we make our time together more productive?”
We need to be honest. Meetings consume a lot of resources. The more efficient they are, the better the return on our investment.
- Chris Pilon asked, “How can I make conference calls with my team more productive?”
- Eric Rheam, “How do I get out of meetings I should not attend?”
- Jayson Feltner, “What kind of system do you use for note-taking in meetings?”
- John Wilkerson, “What do you do when you are scheduled at the end of a meeting and nothing before really applies?”
- Ryan Parker, “How do I hear people but keep the meeting from turning into one long gripe session?”
- Scott Reynolds, “How do you take good meetings notes? and How do you process those notes when you get back to your desk?”
- Chris Jeub asked, “Is there any progress on your WordPress theme?”
- I created My Tools page in response to the numerous questions I get every week about what hardware, software, and other tools I use to do specific tasks. It is a comprehensive resource page with links to all my tools. If nothing else, it might just stimulate your thinking process.
- My next podcast will be on the topic of “My Advice to Beginning Bloggers.” If you have a question about this topic—and want a chance to get on the show—leave me a voicemail message. This is a terrific way to cross-promote YOUR blog or website, because I will link to it, just like I did with the callers in this episode.
In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:
- Screencast: How to Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog in 20 Minutes or Less
- Podcast: “How to Become a Happy Person Others Want to Be Around”
- Post: “3 Actions You Can Take Now to Shift Your Emotional State”
- Post: Recovering the Lost Art of Note Taking
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