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“My senior admin recently asked us what we should discuss during our monthly admin meetings,” a reader wrote. With time at a premium, this is a good point, as there’s an ever-increasing need for groups to get more real work done during regular meetings.

Suggestions for making your next admin meeting more productive:

Keep ho-hum updates to a minimum. The best meetings let a group do one of three things: brainstorm, solve a problem or make a decision. Time-strapped employees need a more tangible goal than simply to “discuss” an issue or listen to progress reports.

If you simply want to convey information, try sending an e-mail, voice mail or memo to all the people who would have attended the meeting.

When to break the rule: If the information will draw an emotional response and time is tight, a face-to-face meeting may be best, or if you need the give-and-take that a meeting allows.

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