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Managing meetings with confidence

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in Meeting Management,Office Management

Like any tool, meetings work when they are right for the job and skill­fully handled. Otherwise, they don't pay off—time is wasted, people are frustrated, objectives aren't met. When you're in charge, make sure that doesn't happen. Here's how:

Before things start. Decide if a meeting is necessary to achieve the results you want. That depends, of course, on what those results are, and it's important that you approach even an open-ended meeting with an idea of what you'd like to take away from it. Let this desired out­come, rather than convenience or your schedule or stress level, be your guide. If your results will be better after some brainstorming or back-and-forth dialogue, call a meeting. If you just need input from, or to give instructions to, the participants, consider using other means instead. But remember, there are times when a meeting is more efficient and effective than, say, a complicated e-mail exchange.

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