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How to manage meetings effectively 

There can be other economic and efficient alternatives, such as a panel of experts or video conferences via Skype, Google Hangout.

Most of the meetings often lose a lot of time, which makes them ineffective. The main culprit of inadequate time management is often lack of organization and prioritization. To avoid this problem, it is necessary for those responsible for convening a meeting to be able to plan it in advance. The first step should be to determine the main reasons for convening it (eg: giving information, motivating, resolving conflicts, finding solutions, making decisions.) and defining the objectives to be achieved.

A business meeting is economically expensive for the company. If we want to make a rough estimate of its cost we must complete the following formula:

There can be other economic and efficient alternatives, such as a panel of experts or video conferences via Skype, Google Hangout...

Once we have determined that it really is necessary for us to hold a meeting, we should proceed to plan it properly. Here are some tips for meeting management  to help you plan, direct, and coordinate work meetings to be truly effective:

1. Before the meeting:

• Prepare it long enough.

• Select appropriately the people who will participate. We should only choose those people whose presence is necessary.

• Create a meeting schedule. This document will specify the reason for the meeting, the objectives to be achieved, the topics to be discussed, the times to be devoted to each question ...

• Convene the attendees in advance so that they have time to prepare their interventions.

• Send the schedule to all participants.

2. During the meeting:

• Start on time. Punctuality is a fundamental aspect. We should try to start and finish at the appointed time. The time is gold!

• To dedicate the first minutes to clarify the fundamental points. The importance of the topics to be addressed, the main reason for the meeting, the objectives to be achieved and the working method to be followed as well as the rules of participation and intervention will be proposed.

• Follow the development provided in the plan. Make sure that you follow the course and the intended approach, giving each point the precise time and avoiding to deal with issues not contemplated in the planning. Perform synthesis at each stage.

• Discuss the most important issues in the middle of the meeting.

• The director or coordinator of the meeting should focus on directing the discussion process, but not it’s content. It must ensure progress and progress in the development of the meeting. An especially important aspect is that it encourages participants to speak. It is essential to seek the active participation of the assistants, in this way we will get more out of their attendance.

• Do not let some overpower and overpower the meeting, as this could adversely affect the positive climate of communication and cooperation that we must try to create and maintain.

3. At the end of the meeting:

• Leave time at the end for participants to express doubts, suggestions, and comments.

• Summarize essential conclusions

• Summarize the positive contributions, opinions, suggestions and agreements adopted.

• Thank the participation of the attendees.

4. After the meeting:

• Make a summary of the meeting that will be sent to all participants during the following days. This summary should contemplate whether the previously defined objectives have been achieved, the tasks that have been entrusted to the different participants, the time they have to carry them out, the most important conclusions, the agreements adopted.

• If necessary, the attendees will be summoned to the next meeting.

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Stories by Maria Susan