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Have you been to a meeting that you left fuming and angry because it wasted your time? If you have, then you have experienced the results of a meeting that was pointless, detrimental to work, or harmful to relationships. Proof that meeting experiences matter.

Have you been to a meeting that used your time wisely? If so, then you have participated in a meaningful meeting that accomplished work, built or maintained relationships, and kept the group willing to continue working together.

Now, reflect on the differences in these meeting experiences. Perhaps the time-wasting meeting included poor meeting leadership; talking-head people who didn’t ask for, let alone listen to others’ input; lack of an agenda so no work was accomplished; or flat-out arguments and conflict. On the other hand, the meaningful meeting likely included a clear agenda; asking for and listening to ideas; decision-making (rather than decision dictation); and clear post-meeting assignments.

Today’s time-crazed world demands effective use of moments, minutes, and hours. Making each meeting you lead more productive helps your team members to make a positive daily difference in their work. Guiding meetings toward work accomplishment and decision-making lets people know that you respect their time, value their input and expect every meeting to matter.

Nudge people to lead meetings that matter by asking for an agenda, suggesting someone take notes, or by offering to be a time-keeper. Any support you provide as a meeting participant has the potential to improve the meeting. What have you got to lose?

Thank the people who conduct meetings that matter! The more we appreciate positive experiences, the more likely they are to repeat.

Each productive meeting experience leads you to conduct meetings more effectively and your team members to participate more meaningfully. Make your meetings matter: make them meaningful, productive, and timely!

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