We've all been in meetings that wasted our time. And we've said so—after the meeting, when it was too late. Here's how to get that feedback on your own meetings when you need it:
Status checks. When you prepare an agenda, estimate how much time each item is going to take. When that time has elapsed—whether or not you're actually finished with that item—stop for a "status check." Get the group's permission to continue to discuss any item past its allotted time.
End-of-meeting wrap-up. Do another, more extended check—ask people if their expectations were met, if they know what they need to do and if they have any suggestions for items to continue to discuss, or new items to bring up, at the next meeting.
Post-meeting input. You should always follow up meetings with some summary—such as the minutes—of what was discussed and decided. When you send this out to the participants, again ask for their feedback on how well the meeting went.