How to determine if a meeting is necessary


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There are many principles to having effective and successful meetings. I've identified six that you can use to make any meeting more effective. Throughout this course, you'll see examples of these six principles in action. The first principle is Purpose. Each meeting should have a clear purpose. Unfortunately, many of you have experienced meetings that were held simply because someone felt it was a good idea to have a meeting. The Principle of Purpose suggests that every meeting should have an objective, a reason why you're having the meeting.

Before scheduling a meeting and inviting others to attend, first ask yourself this question: what is the result I want from this meeting? As we go through this course, I'll provide guidance on how to make sure every meeting has a purpose. The second principle is Time. In other words, how long should the meeting be? There is no hard-and-fast rule about how long a meeting should be. However, there is a general principle that applies to nearly every meeting, and that principle is: the shorter, the better.

Time hates a vacuum. Meetings will almost always take as long or longer than you schedule them to last. Keep your meeting schedule concise and budget less time than you think is necessary. This will force participants to make wise decisions about how to use the time during the meeting. As we go through this course, I'll give you some guidance about how to determine what is an appropriate use of time for your meetings. The third principle is Agenda.

This principle goes hand in hand with the Principle of Time. An agenda is simply a step-by-step outline for participants to follow in the meeting. Agendas can help to wrangle unruly meetings that drift aimlessly. I'll provide suggested agendas that you can use for your meetings. We'll also discuss ways to use the agenda so every participant can have a voice in the meeting and participate. The fourth principle is Preparation. Preparation is vital to effective meetings.

Prior to attending the meeting every participant should take a few moments to prepare their questions and consider how they can serve others. I'll give you easy tips to make preparation very simple, something that doesn't take more than perhaps a few minutes but has a big impact on improving meeting effectiveness. The fifth principle is Focus. Focused meetings stay true to the stated purpose. Focused meeting participants stay engaged in the meeting.

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