Get business meetings off life support, claim duo

Being prepared, selecting a leader and sticking to a fixed start-stop time for meetings are just a few of the tried and tested strategies to running a productive meeting ,but a pair of writers have outlined a few more tips to help leaders squeeze every last drop of engagement.

Writing for fastcompany.com, meetings experts Camille Sweeney and Josh Gosfield have highlighted a number of strategies that can help get office meetings “off life support”.

For instance, the pair cites wisdom from the vice president of American Express Christopher Frank who suggests asking each person to articulate a problem that needs to be solved.

“If the answers are inconsistent or too long, your attendees are probably not focused on the same problem,” suggests Frank, cited by globaladvisors.biz. “By clearly articulating the issue, you will get a good idea of the information you need, the people you should talk to and will ensure everyone is working towards the same goal.”

Furthermore the duo cite Suzanne Bates, founder of executive coaching firm Bates Communications, who believes that humour has a place in meeting venues.

She believes if leaders can “warm up the room” and make attendees smile, they gain the respect of your colleagues, appear confident and in control.

Finally, The New York Times’ assistant managing editor, Ian Fisher, said meetings should be like a talk show. Around half an hour is about a normal human’s lifespan so it’s important to know when to keep talking or when it’s “time to go to the commercial.”