Many discussions and meetings can feel like a waste of time. Here are four things you can do to ensure your meetings are fruitful:
Prepare. Yes, it seems obvious, but too many people come to meetings unprepared. Be on time. Send important documents in advance and keep them concise.
Think before speaking. So much time is wasted when people get off topic. Ask yourself before you speak, “Is this helpful, productive, and relevant to what we are trying to accomplish?”
Make it two-way. If you’re holding a meeting just to deliver news, you’re better off sending a memo. Engage everyone and get new ideas by asking for differing opinions.
Listen. It may be the norm these days, but looking at your BlackBerry during a meeting signals a lack of focus. If the meeting isn’t worth listening to, then you might as well be back at your desk.
Adapted from “Five Ways to Sharpen Your Communication Skills” by John Baldoni.