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Keep one-on-one meetings productive

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Meetings are important for introducing new ideas and fostering discussion in the workplace. But when people don’t know how to participate or run a meeting, they waste everyone’s time and sabotage a great idea, writes John Brandon for Inc. Here are some tips for engaging in a productive one-on-one meeting.

•  Let your co-worker speak. Every meeting should be an open discussion. Let your co-worker share his or her opinions and have an opportunity to be heard.

•  Remain open to learning. Discussion-oriented meetings involve sharing and reflecting. When this happens, it’s important you acknowledge that you’ve just learned something important about the other person’s feelings or insights.

•  Keep your body language en­­gaged. In a one-on-one meeting, your body language will be even more noticeable. When you lean back in your chair or look around the room, this tells the other person you aren’t interested.

•  Be conscious of your facial ex­pressions. Unintentional expressions such as smirking or frowning can tell the person who is talking that you want to laugh or you don’t like what he or she is saying. Make sure to listen intently to control what expressions you make.

— Adapted from “7 Perfect Ways to Ruin a One-on-One Meeting,” John Brandon, Inc.

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