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How to run team meetings to make them most effective

One of the most important skills that any office manager needs to have is knowing how to run team meetings in a way that will make them more effective.

The unproductability of office meetings is so commonplace that it has become a standard joke in comics like Dilbert, with stand up comics, at home, and within the workplace. Everyone knows that a workplace meeting is just an opportunity to learn how to sleep with their eyes open, right? Perhaps a good opportunity to fool around on your laptop, or to think about what to make for dinner tonight.


As the office manager or the company owner, one place where you need to look hard when it comes to improving the functioning of your company is at your meetings. If employees are spending a lot of time in meetings and they aren't getting anything done, then you have a problem with time use that turns into a problem with your bottom line.

If you want your office's meetings to actually be productive, you need to turn your time into results. This means that you don't just need to learn how to make the meeting itself effective, but you also need to be an effective manager before and after your office's meeting.

Here are some tips that will help you run team meetings in order to make them more effective.

1. Come up with a plan for the meeting
-- Having a plan for your meeting means that it can flow smoothly and it will have specific objectives that you can work towards.
-- Identify which employees you need to plan the meeting with you.
-- Identify the goals that need to be accomplished during the meeting.
-- Make sure that you come up with goals that you can actually achieve.
-- These goals that you set will end up setting the framework for your meeting.

2. Do you really need a meeting?
-- If you have a meeting plan, it's time to make sure that you actually need your meeting.
-- Do your goals really need a large meeting in order to be accomplished? When you think about the amount of time that is being spent cumulatively in the meeting, ensure that you can afford all of that time.
-- Make sure that you explore other possible avenues, such as email, a newsletter, video conferencing, or another possible vehicle for deciding.

3. Distribute pre-work before the meeting actually starts.
-- Hand out information before the meeting so that people actually know what is going to be going on. Don't have your powerpoint be the attendees first exposure to the pertinent information.
--Your pre-work should have elements such as reading material, graphs, other charts that will be important for analysis during the meeting.
--Hand out the information at least 48 hours before your scheduled meeting.

4. Facilitation is the key to effectiveness.
-- As the team leader or the manager, you are in charge of setting the tone of the meeting.
--In order to effectively run a team meeting, you need to begin with a review of the goals that have been set.
--Ensure that you also cover the outcomes that you are looking for, along with your meeting's agenda.
--As the facilitator, you are going to be keeping people on track during the meeting. Your facilitation will keep the focus on the end goals and expected outcomes.

5. Use that pre-work in your meeting!
--Don't let all that pre-work study go to waste. Make sure that the pre-work actually is discussed during the meeting.

6. Involve all of the participants in the meeting.
--There will be a number of different people in your meeting. Make sure that each person's skills are utilized during the meeting.
--Involve each person in the meeting, both the quiet workers and the louder workers.
--Assign each attendee a particular role in the plan to achieve your goals.

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