Meetings: A Love-Hate Relationship

Image Courtesy of Wall Street Journal. Click to open the original interactive graphic.

Meetings. You’ve been attending them from the early days of math club, to the solar car team in college, and in every position you’ve occupied in your working life. They plague everyone from PTA volunteers to top government officials. Bad meetings can disrupt the workday, create frustration and boredom, and foster tense office dynamics when employees disagree; however, good meetings can be a source of true inspiration and creative collaboration. How do effective managers foster a positive meeting environment and avoid potential pitfalls?

Businesses have tried a variety of means to combat inefficient meetings. Some businesses conduct 5-minute standing meetings, in which each employee stands around a table and gives a one-sentence summary of their current projects. Supposedly, Microsoft has a rule that employees must give a speaker ten minutes of their time before they are allowed to leave the room. We prefer the more artistic analogy that staging a good meeting is like staging a ballet: the moves should be well-rehearsed, the dancers should support each other and move together fluidly, and the whole performance should have a greater purpose and goal.

These articles will help you learn how to prepare and shape your meetings effectively, run them smoothly from start to finish, and steer a meeting that gets off-track back down the proper path.

Four Questions Each Meeting Should Answer: This Forbes article will teach you four concise questions that will help you prepare for a meeting and give you a strong structure and purpose.

Meeting-Killer Culprits: The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday on how to recognize the “Jokester,” “Dominator,” “Rambler,” and “Naysayer” at your next meeting and stop them in their tracks.

Righting a Meeting Gone Wrong: No matter how prepared you are, meetings can still take a turn for the worse. This Business Week article highlights how to get a meeting back on track and why different meetings require different strategies.

How effective are the meetings in your workplace? What tips can you offer other readers?

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