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    5 Tips to Manage “Meeting Madness” – Women Business Leaders

    I don’t know about you, but as a woman business leader and owner, I attend a lot of meetings. I also create meetings and run meetings. Like you, I can’t afford to waste time with unproductive meetings or unproductive people. Having said that, meetings are still a great way to get the creative juices flowing – if they are meaningful and encourage participants to take action, rather than merely observe.

    Here are five tips, based on research by Scott Belsky and published on American Express’ OpenForum website, for improving the experience and outcome of meetings:

    1. Beware of “Posting Meetings”
      Automatic, recurring meetings run the risk of becoming “posting” meetings. If you leave a meeting without any action steps, you should question the value of the meeting. A meeting to “share updates” should actually be a voicemail or an email.
    2. Finish with a Review of Actions Captured
      At the end of every meeting, go around and review the action steps each person has captured. The exercise takes less than 30 seconds per person, and it almost always reveals a few action steps that were missed.
    3. Make the Majority of Meetings “Standing” Meetings
      One best practice I’ve observed in the field is “standing meetings” – meetings in which people gather and remain standing. The tendency to sit back and reiterate points dwindles as people get weak in the knees. Standing meetings are, by nature, more actionable.
    4. Bring Back Transit Time!
      Building in 10-15 minutes of travel time between meetings can significantly reduce stress. It seems that the default principles of corporate scheduling have stripped us of the precious transit time that keeps peace of mind between meetings. To bring it back, when scheduling an hour-long meeting, put it in the calendar for 50-minutes.
    5. If You Must Meet, Meet on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
      LifeHacker reported a retrospective study reviewing over 100,000 responses to 34,000 events on their platform. They found that Tuesday at 3 p.m. was the most “available” spot for a meeting. Such a finding suggests that there may be certain times (and days) during the week that work best for your team.

    We can’t rid the world of meetings, but it’s possible to meet more wisely. As a woman business leader, it’s up to you to take the lead and make your own meetings effective, efficient and worthwhile.

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