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10 Things You Can Do to Make Meetings Effective

10 Things You Can Do to Make Meetings Effective

Effective meetings are one of the ways of discussing and solving problems not just in a company but in any organization. Be it the boss or the employees, anyone can contribute and speak. Although meetings are tools necessary for productivity, some meetings just do not work out and people are just wasting their time on ineffective meetings.

There are simplified methods and techniques on running an efficient and effective meeting. Here are the 10 best ways of making meetings effective:

1. Define a clear purpose for the meeting.

A meeting will only be effective if its purpose and goals are met, whether its resolving a dispute between employees or discussing a company crisis, a clear purpose must be planned before sending out the invites to the involved people.

2. Invite the necessary people only.

Having the necessary people is another step towards an effective meeting. Does the purpose of the meeting have something to do with the network security of the company? Then invite the head of the IT department. Does the purpose of the meeting have something to do with the future of the company? Then invite your boss and the employees involved.

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Consider only the necessary people for a meeting and then send out the invites to those people. That way, you will not waste other people’s time and productivity.

3.  Create a final schedule and stick with it.

Create a memorandum for the meeting along with the important details such as topics to be discussed, venue, start and end time, and the people involved, then send the memorandum to the necessary people via email or place it on their desk. Do not wait for people who are running late, but start the meeting on time.

People will be more comfortable with a meeting if the agenda is laid in front of them. This will also lessen trivial matters such as an introduction.

4. Do not allow the use of smartphones or tablets during meetings.

It is hard to compete for the attention of people especially when they are using their phones or tablets. To ensure that they will be focusing on the agenda, ban the use of smartphones and tablets, so that each participant’s focus is only on the meeting.

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5. Assign a moderator for the meeting.

Even though you are the one who plans the meeting, this does not mean that you are also the moderator. Consider if are the most suitable person to moderate and if you think that someone else could do it better, then don’t hesitate to assign him or her to be the moderator for the meeting.

The moderator should also act as a timekeeper and watch the correct flow of the meeting, making sure the agenda is on track. Chances are, the meeting will be more successful this way.

6. Have fewer but better meetings.

Rather than calling a meeting every time there are problems or disputes in the company, find other ways to resolve those problems. Sending an email or talking to the responsible people are just some of the ways thorugh which you can opt out a meeting. You must ensure the quality of your meetings. If you call in as few meetings as possible, the participants will gladly go to them.

7. Separate eating time from meeting time.

Thirty minutes to an hour before the meeting time, declare an eating time. By this people will not eat during the meeting. During the meal, everyone eats and makes small talk. During meeting time, everyone focuses on the agenda at hand and brainstorms together. This way, you can follow your plan, dedicate your attention to fulfilling the purpose of the meeting and manage your time wisely.

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8. Spend the last 5 to 10 minutes of the meeting reviewing the decisions and actions of the participants and the overview of what was discussed.

A clear understanding between the participants and the purpose of the meeting must be met before the end of the meeting, ensuring that everyone had their queries satisfied and their contributions included.

The moderator should clear up any disagreements between participants before the end of the meeting and they must come up with concise solutions to their problems. It is important that everyone absorbs what was discussed in the meeting.

9. Send a follow-up note to every participant.

Every participant has his or her own problems outside of the meeting. To ensure that they will remember what was discussed in the meeting, send a follow-up note via email or leave it on their desk.

10. Send out an evaluation sheet to every participant.

We must admit that not everyone loves the idea of meetings and for those outliers, we must find ways to ensure that they will be comfortable whenever they are included in a meeting. Some of them won’t say what the problems are if asked directly, so an evaluation sheet is a handy tool to get feedback from those types of people.

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Check the feedback of the participants, incorporate requests of the participants into the next meeting, and change any process that causes discomfort to the participants. We must ensure the safety and productivity of the participants during meetings.

Now go ahead and incorporate these tips into your daily meeting routine and let the productivity flow. Remember, an effective meeting is a process everyone must abide to!

Featured photo credit: Meeting by John Benson via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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