7 Steps to Make Your Meetings Work

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Beth Kanter covered a matter that we’ve all dealt with far too often in her latest blog post: the dreaded meeting from (you know where). An effective meeting is supposed to have mutual understanding, full participation, clear and specific outcomes and shared responsibility. However, as the average professional attends 13.7 meetings a week, there are definitely some meetings that everyone could go without. Here are the seven steps to make sure your meetings are the most effective they can be:

1) Plan

Every meeting needs a start time, end time, agenda, location and participants. This step should be easy enough to conquer.

 2) Hook

Get people actually excited about coming to this meeting. Send out some background reading so people thoroughly understand what is going to be talked about and come ready to discuss.

3) Confirm

Ensure that people are definitely going to attend your meeting. No one wants to speak at an empty room.

4) Combustion

This is the step we’ve all been waiting for: cold, hard participation in the meeting! It is much more successful for a meeting to be more discussion-based than presentation-based, hence the background reading covered in step 2.

5) Meaning

Here is where the decisions are made. After combustion, it is time to really put some thought into the topic at hand. Think about what you can do to really make a difference.

6) Next Steps

What should we do next? Pick a plan of attack and stick to your guns. If you are passionate about the project, you should be well-off. Make sure you end your meeting on a high note!

7) Follow Through

Finally, the last step. When people are excited about the project, it should not be hard to follow up and see how your plan works when put into action.

 About the Author:

Elizabeth (Libby) Hewitt is a junior at the University of Iowa, studying Journalism & Mass Communications and Studio Art. She is hoping to pursue a career in Public Relations after attending graduate school.

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