Have an objective for every meeting, claims expert

Obtaining a ‘really clear outcome’ at the end of every meeting should be the target of every meeting organiser.

That’s the advice delivered by Paula Harrington, a senior manager at Deloitte Consulting, who believes that every person heading to a conference space for a meeting needs to know what has to be accomplished by the end of the event.

In addition, managing people’s time during the meeting has to be expertly done, claims Harrington.

“These days, with our crazy busy multitasking, there’s nothing more valuable than time,” she said, cited by financialpost.com. “Think about the cost of every meeting: the value of people’s time and the opportunity costs of them not working.”

Other suggestions from Harrington for maximising the value of meetings include publishing an agenda for every meeting a week in advance. Each agenda item should be included and the time each is expected to take.

She also suggests the meeting chair should advise that no smartphones or tablets should be taken into a meeting unless they are specifically required during a presentation. This generates a ‘Be Present’ ethic during the meeting.

“It’s rare that people do this, but it’s powerful,” says Harrington, cited by njuice.com.

Finally, the chair should deliberately interrupt the meeting at certain points to make sure everyone is following. “Ask people to summarise the discussion so far,” she concluded.