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By Jennifer Pettley

We’ve all been in them.  Unfocused meetings, with everyone asking themselves afterward, “what did we just accomplish?”  The truth is, probably not much.  According to HubSpot, the average employee spends 31 hours in unproductive meetings a month.  Want to make sure you are not part of this phenomena?  Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Set a clear agenda and send it around to the meeting group well ahead of time.  This gives people time to prepare.
  2. Choose a meeting leader, someone the group respects, to keep the discussion focused and on time.
  3. To avoid distractions and interruptions, ban cell phones and other devices unless they are needed for the discussion.
  4. Keep your meeting group small, a maximum of seven people.  Any more and too many opinions are flying around or people feel too intimidated in a larger group to participate in the discussion.
  5. Have start and finish times, and stick to them.  Keep meetings as short as possible.  To really get people’s attention, have an unusual start and end time, like 9:45 or 3:20.
  6. Spend the last 10 minutes in recap.  Make sure everyone understands their tasks, timelines and deadlines going forward.

Now, take these suggestions to heart and go save the world!