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Take Office Meetings from Mundane to Productive


Everyone’s least favorite work requirement seems to be meetings. They drag on forever and leave attendees wondering “Why couldn’t this have been accomplished in an email?” But meetings are a fact of life at work, so rather than trudge through them every week, find ways to make them more productive and effective. Below, nine entrepreneurs share their fail-safe strategies for better, more efficient meetings. Check out the tips and give them a try next time your team comes together.

1. Plan ahead. Set the agenda one week ahead of time. Allow attendees to comment on it prior to the meeting so they have time to really think about it—and then stick to the agenda. —T.J. Allan, owner, Ageless Fitness

2. Stand up. Have all-hands-on-deck meetings standing up. We stand in a circle at 9 a.m. every morning and one by one state our goals for the day. Because we’re standing, we’re energized and we move fast. We’re done in 15 minutes. —Aidah Omar, consultant, Leads Gen Expert Pte Ltd.

3. Make notes. Always have someone taking notes on actionable items—who said they would do what, and when. Then have that person send the notes around after. It helps to move things along and make the meeting meaningful. —Sandi Danilowitz, founder/CEO, The Health Engine

4. Get clear. I have people state concerns or questions beforehand. I call this “clearing.” Without it, people will be focused on their problem throughout the meeting—and may derail it to get their point across. Clearing makes the team more focused. —Dylan Dahlquist, research assistant, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific

5. Clarify tasks. Everyone writes their weekly must-dos into a Trello board for all to look over. Then we do a quick roundtable to reiterate and clarify. Sometimes verbalizing what’s written makes it appear more or less important. —Cliff Harvey, founder, Holistic Performance Institute

6. Ask and listen. I like to stick to an agenda, but that doesn’t work with every client. For the non-agenda types, I ask what technology problem has been bothering them. (We do IT solutions.) The client is able to vent about their previous experiences and then can communicate what they actually need. —Mike Perez, founder and CEO, With Perez

7. Do lunch. My most productive meetings follow a simple formula: no more than five people, and over lunch. When only the key people attend, it prevents loss of focus and time. Lunch is optimal because it removes stress, and the odds that everyone will attend are high. —Dr. Naim Drid, clinical research fellow, Paris VII University

8. Constrain them. I worked halfway around the world from my team for a year, and we had enough time for a single 30-minute meeting each day. That forced meetings to be front-loaded with clear action steps. We got very good at asking questions. —Jason Lengstorf, consultant/owner, Bearstone

9. Stay on task. When the discussion starts to digress and it isn’t productive, peers may be hesitant to stop it. A leader will suggest that we discuss the new topic at a later time. Post-meeting it can be decided whether to handle via email, call or another meeting. —Andrea Spirov, CEO, The Boss Food Company

No matter how your team is structured, make the most of everyone’s time with effective and productive meetings. Ready to lead a team of your own? Join EXIT Realty Massachusetts as a franchise owner. EXIT Realty Massachusetts is the best place to launch your new entrepreneurial career. Don’t hesitate! Spend 30 minutes to find out how to get started today.


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