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Modern conference room

We’ve all been there. You’ve been called into a meeting which does not involved your projects or is just a rehash of a previous meeting. Or maybe it’s that weekly conference call that literally is a rundown of the last week’s conference call. Are unproductive meetings weighing you down? The truth is that companies waste billions of dollars a year with unproductive meetings. Here are some ways to identify whether or not your meetings are costing your business time and money and what you can do to streamline your efforts.

Meetings with No Purpose

Meetings are necessary for communication and done right, they are invaluable. It’s common for companies to hold meetings for status updates and team bonding. Granted, these things are necessary for deadlines to be met and for a team to work well together. But what happens when meetings are held just for the sake of having a meeting?

* Meetings with no purpose drain employees of energy and lead to low morale and bad ideas.

* Fifty percent of high-level manager time is spent in meetings. Your most valuable and most expensive team members are wasting the most time.

* The money that is lost each year in an unproductive meeting could be spent furthering a company’s vision.

* People put off having inconvenient discussions by scheduling a meeting instead.

* Limit the number of meetings. Train your team to treat meetings as a time-intensive endeavor.

How to Avoid Death by Meeting

Obtain a written agenda in advance. Start with a list of topics to be discussed and make sure that material is provided to attendees at least one day before the meeting. For better results, provide background information on the agenda so that everyone attending has the same information. If you are invited to attend a meeting where an agenda has not been provided ahead of time, ask for one so that you may be better prepared.

For frequently held meetings such as a weekly status meeting on a project, save time by creating a meeting template. Once you have that in place, preparing an agenda becomes a matter of filling in the blanks.

Running a successful meeting is common sense and it begins with a facilitator setting a clear, pre-meeting purpose. Leave boring, unproductive meetings behind and use your everyone’s time in the best manner possible.

For even more tips on how to make the most of your meetings, read the full story HERE in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Tools for Success magazine. You can also pick up a print copy of the magazine at a Progress Bank location near you. Click for a complete list of LOCATIONS.

Ann Marie Harvey is Vice President of Communications at Vertical Solutions Media. She specializes in creating dynamic copy that is both genuine and compelling. Editing the written word is her passion.

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