Feature

Tip of the week: How to run a meeting

Watch the clock; Expand the circle; Guide the presentations

Watch the clock. Creating a disciplined “meeting culture” is critical, and begins with the leader’s commitment to starting and finishing meetings on time. Doing so “leads to better preparations by the participants,” says former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Expand the circle. Resist the tendency to limit a meeting to only the most obvious decision-makers. “Some people prefer very small meetings,” says Rumsfeld, “but when you’re inclusive you’re much more likely to hear different perspectives.”

Guide the presentations. Advise each presenter to eliminate jargon and avoid launching immediately into any proposal. “What I’ve tried to do is to encourage people to say, ‘Here’s the subject matter, and here are my assumptions,’” says Rumsfeld. That practice aids listeners’ contributions.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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