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The Rules of Management: Hold Effective Meetings

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As a manager you will have to hold meetings. Richard Templar explains how to make them effective.

Hold Effective Meetings...

We've all been to them—the meetings that drag on, people who ramble, agendas written on the back of an envelope or in the spur of the moment, any-other-business surprises, lack of information, and insufficient notice.

As a manager you will have to hold meetings. Make them effective. Decide in advance what the objective of the meeting is and make sure you meet that objective.

Basically, meetings have only four purposes:

  • To create and fuse a team
  • To impart information
  • To brainstorm ideas (and make decisions)
  • To collect information (and make decisions)

Some meetings might well take in one or more of these, but you should still be aware of that and add it into your objective. If your meeting is to impart information, then do it and get the hell out. If it's a discussion about that information you want, then that's a different type of meeting and as such should have different objectives.

Be aware that some meetings are there to help your team meet each other, bond, socialize together, find out about each other, and see you in your true role as team leader.

If you want your meetings to be effective, then remain firmly in control—no wishy-washy democracies here. You are the manager and you are in charge—end of story. To be effective you shouldn't allow anyone to reminisce, ramble, jabber on, or refuse to shut up or relax. Keep 'em moving fast and get them out of the door as soon as you can.

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