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n the first part of this series, we discussed sure your role is clear and be confident in Closure: Solve problems, answer ques-
how to select meeting participants and de- how you handle the meeting. After all, you tions, and stipulate “next steps” for tasks.
velop an agenda. Setting up the meeting is came fully prepared. Remember to stay posi- Confidential: Keep confidential informa-
important, but considering that the average tive and expect productive participation from tion confidential.
manager spends more than a third of his or attendees. • You may even want to list the ground rules
her week in meetings, maximizing the useful- on the agenda or in the meeting room.
ness and value of each meeting should be the Establishing Ground Rules Gentle reminders may help meeting partici-
goal. • Use this CCMCC acronym: pants ingrain the ground rules in their own
Contribute: Encourage contributions from behavior.
Starting the Meeting participants. • When new participants attend a
• Begin promptly. Unlike a movie the- Content: Quality of input directly af- meeting, briefly review the ground rules
ater, you don’t need to entertain your audi- fects the quality of a meeting’s output. before you begin.
ence with previews until the feature starts. Momentum: Maintain momentum to in-
While it’s smart business practice to spend crease meeting effectiveness. Managing Time
a few moments establishing rapport, • Stay on task and keep
be careful not to let the meeting’s start the energy high to complete
wander off-topic while you wait for the agenda in the allotted
stragglers. Promptness shows respect time.
for everyone’s time. • Set a timer to signal when
• Welcome the participants. Thank there are five minutes left to
people for coming and emphasize that completion, or ask someone to
everyone’s input is valuable and neces- be meeting timekeeper.
sary for the meeting’s success. • If it appears you will not
• Designate a minute taker. Having be able to complete the agen-
someone take the meeting’s minutes da within the meeting’s set
shows that you’re all there to accom- timeframe, ask participants for
plish something. To go a step further, input (e.g., should the meet-
indicate that meeting notes will be cir- ing be extended or should the
culated to all participants—with “next remaining topics be discussed
steps”—within 24 hours. via e-mail, omitted entirely, or
• Review the agenda. Go over the saved for a future meeting?).
agenda, ask for feedback, and note any
Adapted from Basic Guide to Conduct-
ing Effective Meetings by Carter McNa-
• Be positively productive. Make
mara, MBA, PhD
1 ThinkBusiness
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