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Save Time In Meetings - How?

Time Management Guide Part 23

Meetings have a very bad reputation of being time wasters.

How many of us have had to sit through hours of meetings, listening to people who ramble on and on about issues which can often be decided on in five or ten minutes.

On the other hand, meetings that are properly controlled can prove to be the best way to brief a group of people on matters like policies, progress, and points of action.

Additionally, meetings in which brain storming sessions take place, bring out the best ideas from people on how to solve issues.

How To Save Time In Meetings - 9 Tips:

1. The participants should be aware of the subject matter of the meeting. Instead of just announcing that a meeting is to be held, it would be a good idea to inform the participants as to why the meeting is being called and what matters are going to be discussed.

2. Try to get the members seated in time. If one or two members are going to be late and everyone else has to wait for them, it's going to upset the pace of the meeting.

3. Try to provide all the members with the necessary papers and equipment for the discussion. Instead of passing round one paper for everyone to see, try and make copies. The extra cost is worth it.

4. Interruptions should be avoided as much as possible, but the members must feel free to air their views once a person has finished speaking.

5. Care must be taken to avoid digressions. The chairperson must not hesitate to point out if a person is getting off the point. The members too must be cautioned to stick to the point as much s possible.

6. The members of course must display the high degree and patience expected from professionals.

7. A person must give a summary at the end of the meeting so that the members leave with the knowledge that something was accomplished and it was not just a meaningless discussion.

8. Cell phones of course must be switched of and external calls on land phones must be deferred.

9. Refreshments if required must be laid on the table prior to the beginning of the discussion and not served in between. If it is a very long discussion and hot beverages like tea and coffee need to be served, take a break - it saves more time.


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