Meetings becoming less productive and more exhausting

Meetings: They’re necessary, they’re informative, but more often than not, they’re boring and time-wasting. And that’s not an opinion. It’s a fact.

According to a recent survey by Robert Half Management Resources (RHMR), Canadian workers say approximately 28 percent of time in meetings is wasted.

When asked what caused those wasted hours, those surveyed said…

· not sticking to an agenda (55 percent)

· having no clear purpose for the agenda (44 percent)

· not starting (42 per cent) or ending on time (39 per cent)

· inviting people who did not need to attend (37 per cent).

So how to do avoid these traps? Here are some tips…

1. PLAN: Don’t go into a meeting without a solid plan of how you want it to run. It’s very much like any event or even a wedding, you have to know what you want to accomplish and the order in which you want to address issues. Create a solid agenda and be sure to follow it, you don’t have to read off your notebook but don’t hesitate to check it to make sure you know what is next.

2. Keep track of time: The worst thing to do is have a one hour meeting turn into a three hour meeting. This goes back to planning, set out how much time you want to devote to each point and then during the meeting keep track either in your head or by the clock how much time you’ve spent. No one wants to see the presenter looking at the clock, but people would rather that then them looking at the clock wondering when the meeting will end.

3. Finish strong: RHMR gives this tip and it’s definitely a wise one to follow. End your presentation with what needs to be accomplished or the next steps people can follow. Allow for questions and ensure when people leave, they aren’t confused what the meeting was about.

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