Workplace meetings can be a great opportunity to make decisions as a team and collaborate on projects. All too often, meetings go very wrong. The agenda isn’t adhered to. The wrong people are invited. The right people don’t show up. What should be a productive time turns into a time suck.

How can you streamline your meetings and keep productivity up? Here are some tips.

Have an agenda

Don’t just have a meeting to have a meeting. Know exactly what needs to be discussed and accomplished before the meeting. Let all the attendees know the agenda. Anyone who needs to provide information at the meeting should be aware of their part. Send out documents that will be reviewed at the meeting ahead of time.

Consider the location

Do you absolutely need to meet in the conference room? Can you have a short 10-minute stand-meeting around the desks? For a creative session, consider working outside for 30 minutes. Think about where you’re meeting as much as why.

Tweak the invite list

Make sure each person who is coming to the meeting has a vital reason to be there. Adjust the list as you go along.

Stay on task

Designate one person to keep control of the meeting. This person, the chair, has the authority to move the conservation along if it gets stuck on one point or if someone is dominating the conversation. The chair should also invite quiet attendees in to discuss certain points. If you have a time limit, make someone responsible for watching the clock and giving reminders to help stay within your limit.

Follow up

Have another person make note of any agreed upon action points. After the meeting, this person sends out a short email reminding everyone to keep them on point.

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