Nine Secrets to Running Outstanding Meetings

Written by Ed Sykes

Continued from page 1

6. Engagerepparttar Participants Johnny would continuerepparttar 119460 flow ofrepparttar 119461 conversation with his guests by asking follow-up questions or summarize what they said.

Ask additional questions to draw out important information with your meeting participants. Sayrepparttar 119462 following:

Tell me more about… That’s an interesting viewpoint, please explain further… If I understand what you are saying…

If there are participants that are quiet, make it safe for them to give feedback or suggestions. Sayrepparttar 119463 following:

“Mike, we would really like to hear your ideas on… “Jane, you look like you really want to add something important torepparttar 119464 discussion, please tell us.”

Once they make their comments say, “Thanks for your valuable comments. I look forward to you contributing more insights inrepparttar 119465 future.”

7. Makerepparttar 119466 Meeting Participantsrepparttar 119467 Stars Johnny Carson had a way of letting his guests, whether they were infamous or famous, be celebrities onrepparttar 119468 Tonight Show. He allowed them to tell their jokes and witty stories, as well as complimented them, so thatrepparttar 119469 stars were and ultimatelyrepparttar 119470 show was successful.

You can dorepparttar 119471 same for your staff in meetings. You could dominaterepparttar 119472 meeting and develop allrepparttar 119473 ideas yourself. You wouldn’t accomplish much becauserepparttar 119474 meeting participants would have no sense of ownership and would be slow to initiate your ideas. Or you can encouragerepparttar 119475 participants to contribute ideas so that they take ownership ofrepparttar 119476 ideas and take responsibility for implementing their ideas. Also, acknowledge and reward these “solution creators” in front ofrepparttar 119477 group.

Let them shine!

8. Endrepparttar 119478 Meetingrepparttar 119479 Right Way While excusing his guests, Johnny would sincerely thank them for coming onrepparttar 119480 show and compliment them on their contributions. The guests left with a good feeling and always wanted to come back again and again.

Make sure you thankrepparttar 119481 meeting participants for their time and contributions. Let them know how they made a difference inrepparttar 119482 meeting. If there were solutions created inrepparttar 119483 meeting, communicate what isrepparttar 119484 clear course of action to accomplishing those solutions. Express your confidence that you know that these solutions will be achieved.

9. Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up Johnny Carson would talk about how great a show was because of a guest. This was another way to makerepparttar 119485 guests on his show feel special.

Send an e-mail to all relevant employees, whether they were inrepparttar 119486 meeting or not, explaining what was covered inrepparttar 119487 meeting, what was decided on inrepparttar 119488 meeting, and what course of action we are taking.

Also again, acknowledge key people inrepparttar 119489 meeting for their contributions.

Follow these nine techniques used byrepparttar 119490 master of late night and your meetings will be outstanding.

Ed Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and a leading expert in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building. You can e-mail him at, or call him at (757) 427-7032. Go to his web site,, and signup for the newsletter, OnPoint, and receive the free ebook, "Empowerment and Stress Secrets for the Busy Professional."

7 Tips for Growing Your Business You Do Not Want to Ignore:

Written by Kay Graham-Gilbert

Continued from page 1

Do not jump to conclusions. This does not mean replacing people with machines. If a task can be automated, it should be. Do you know why? Automation replaces repetitive tasks. Repetitive tasks can then be replaced with higher cognitive activities. If an individual spends 30 minutes a day on, let’s say, inputting data into a stand alone spreadsheet and this activity could be inputted directly into an existing integrated system, then that individual would have 2.5 more hours a week to spend meeting critical objectives or creating solutions. Multiply this by many individuals and you can seerepparttar impact.

Tip #5 Schedule time to think

This does not imply that thinking is not going on; it’s just that we get too caught up in action and seldom takerepparttar 119459 necessary time to stop. Stop to think through a challenge, stop to evaluate strategy, and stop to contemplate about anything. Since inaction is perceived as not progressing, we discourage “thinking time”. This is why outsiders are often able to see what we cannot. It isn’t that we cannot see it; it is just that we have not takenrepparttar 119460 time to slow down, observe, think, and contemplate. When planning your week, schedule time to think.

Tip #6 Beyondrepparttar 119461 customer experience

We all know that servicingrepparttar 119462 customer is paramount. We know it, but many fail to meetrepparttar 119463 minimum expectations. And sometimes we do not realize we are not meeting expectations. Customers are more demanding than they used to be. Develop a profile ofrepparttar 119464 most discriminating customer for your product or service. Describe them as best you can. ·What do they want inrepparttar 119465 product or service ·How quickly do they want it ·What are there expectations regarding phone inquiries (When they have a question, how do they most prefer to accessrepparttar 119466 information) ·What isrepparttar 119467 optimum sales experience from first contact to order taking to actual purchase ·What is their packaging preference ·How do they definerepparttar 119468 perfect transaction ·Etc.

Once you have developed this profile, start by taking action to providerepparttar 119469 level of service expected byrepparttar 119470 most demanding customer outlined above, to all customers. Once you have achieved this, then take just one profile element point and determine how you can expand onrepparttar 119471 experience, giving even more. Then takerepparttar 119472 next andrepparttar 119473 next.

Tip #7 Go out on a limb

Rememberrepparttar 119474 old saying, nothing ventured, nothing gained? Well, it is true. Do not limit yourself by being afraid to take chances. Of course, you will not always succeed, but not only will you learn great lessons, but you will also create breakthroughs. Each failure should be viewed as a step closer to success. The odds are on your side. This does not mean that you should take action without proper preparation. Takerepparttar 119475 necessary precautions, evaluaterepparttar 119476 alternatives and try it.

Do you see how these tips can improve your performance? Improving performance will allow you to grow in a number of ways. Grow by being more responsive, understandingrepparttar 119477 customer better, increasing your flexibility, utilizing employees better, encouraging creativity, reducing bad decisions, and multiplying your strengths.

Copyright © 2004, Kay Graham-Gilbert

Providing knowledge, not just information is our quest. Kay Graham-Gilbert, author and executive of Interactive Consulting has an extensive background in creating effective operations. She invites you to learn more about practical business strategies to put into action now by going to

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