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      Meetings: Valuable Time

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      Communication is key, hence why meetings play such an important role in the world of business. Justifying if a meeting is actually required however, is easier said than done.

      As renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said, ?meetings are indispensable when you don?t want to do anything.?

      Good meetings are brief, productive; everybody contributes and leaves knowing more about the
      situation than when they first went in ? they understand the process moving forward and what needs to happen next.

      The worst meetings drag on and are ineffective, with few decisions actually being made and little being accomplished.

      A study revealed that most employees attend on average 62 meetings every month, of which half the time is wasted ? that?s 31 hours. With 73% of workers choosing to do other tasks during meetings, 91% of workers simply daydreaming through them, and 39% of workers falling asleep. A staggering 96% have missed meetings entirely.

      Face-to-face communication on paper, promises effective, personable relationship building and the ideal opportunity for round the table brainstorming, however the majority of the time, in-person meetings are not required. Decisions can easily be accomplished through e-mail, phone or videoconferences.

      5 simple steps for more efficient and effective meetings:

      1.    Make meeting objectives clear and clarify any uncertainty with individuals before the meeting goes ahead.

      2.    Carefully consider the attendee list. Do all of them really need to be there?

      3.    Half your meeting time. If you set an hour for a meeting, people will use the hour, regardless of how much is on the agenda. A tighter time period of 30 minutes should be sufficient.

      4.    Be prompt and start the meeting on time. Do not wait for late arrivals.

      5.    Ban laptops and other devices in an effort to get everyone to focus.

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      Amelia Walker

      Editor – PA Life

      All stories by: Amelia Walker