Making meetings more productive

It seems everyone is always in a meeting, but what, if anything, is really being accomplished? Some people feel important if they are in a meeting, but what are they doing in there?

If you are a manger and need to conduct meetings, there are things you can do to make them much more productive. Here are some tips for an effective, productive meeting that doesn’t go on all day:

• Plan ahead: create a schedule and stick to it. Remove the chairs from the meeting room – when you have to stand for your meeting you will find that you go over the issues at hand and move on to the next item much more quickly.

• Remove or shut off the phones: focus on why you are there, remove any distractions so you can effectively concentrate on the meeting points.

• Do not serve food or snacks: serving food causes a relaxed atmosphere that doesn’t contribute to productivity.

• Schedule your topics and give each one a time limit. For example, Joe will talk about receivables for 10 minutes and how we can improve them. Then Mary will talk about health insurance for 15 minutes.

• Use a kitchen timer: When the buzzer goes off, meeting is over — get back to work.

If you find you are not able to cover everything, maybe some topics can be covered without a meeting. Some ways you can get the word out to employees without having a meeting are by using memos.

Michelle Dunn of Plymouth, who has over 18 years’ experience in credit and debt collection, is founder and president of Never Dunn Publishing LLC and editorial adviser for Eli Financial Debt Collection Compliance Alert Newsletter. For more information, visit

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