Meetings can be a huge time suck. That being said, they are necessary especially when a project involves several people. Meetings can be very productive if you develop a strategy. Make sure you are clear about the purpose and what you want to accomplish. Then share that with the group. Develop an agenda for each meeting with a start and end time and a list of the items to be discussed. Identify on the agenda who will be the presenter for different topics. If you give people guidelines and they know what to expect they will come more prepared to participate. If possible, give people the agenda a day in advance.
Unless you have a very compelling reason, don’t ask people to spend more than an hour at any one meeting. The only reason to hold a meeting is to share information with others or get others to share information with you. Meetings should be interactive. Ask those attending the meetings to turn off their cell phones, tablets, and computers. I can’t think of anything ruder to everyone involved than to have a participant checking their email or texting while they are supposed to be participating in a meeting.
President, Business 360 Northwest