Quick Tip - Effective Meetings Have SMART Goals

Written by Steve Kaye

The first step in planning an agenda is to identifyrepparttar goals forrepparttar 136691 meeting. Properly done, goals have five S M A R T characteristics. They are:

Specific. The goal must tell exactly what will be accomplished. For example: Duringrepparttar 136692 next hour we will develop a strategy to increase market share by 10%. This states exactly whatrepparttar 136693 group will work on. Vague goals can cause you to lose control ofrepparttar 136694 meeting.

Measurable. This helps you determine ifrepparttar 136695 goal has been completed. It can be stated as a number (5 ideas, 10% gain, one decision) or as an achievement (Did we write a strategy or not?).

Achievable. Goals must be realistic forrepparttar 136696 resources and time available. For example, most groups could identify twenty ways to reducerepparttar 136697 budget in a fifteen minute meeting. Onrepparttar 136698 other hand, it is unlikely that a group could develop a comprehensive marketing plan in 30 minutes.

Why Would Anyone Hold a Bad Meeting?

Written by Steve Kaye

Pssst, want a stock tip that will make you rich? Okay, here it is: phone a public corporation and ask to speak withrepparttar CEO.

If a secretary tells you thatrepparttar 136690 CEO expects to be busy in meetings forrepparttar 136691 next six hundred years, call your broker and sellrepparttar 136692 stock short. Any company unable to manage an activity that should last an hour is on its way downrepparttar 136693 financial tubes.

Although itís true that senior executives spend much of their time in meetings, you can bet that a business is in trouble if their meetings are out of control.

Surveys show companies waste an average of 20% of their payroll on bad meetings. And thatís justrepparttar 136694 beginning ofrepparttar 136695 problem. Meetings keep people away fromrepparttar 136696 tasks they were hired to perform -- tasks that make money forrepparttar 136697 company and keeprepparttar 136698 business ahead ofrepparttar 136699 competition.

Since bad meetings are so wasteful, you may wonder why anyone tolerates them. Unfortunately, many business leaders think that their meetings are just fine. They even believe that theyíre experts at holding effective meetings.

For example, when I phone companies to ask if they would be interested in improving their meetings, I sometimes encounter an assistant who assures me thatrepparttar 136700 executives believe that they hold wonderful meetings. Thenrepparttar 136701 assistant snickers, coughs softly, and regains enough composure to state that they donít need my services. At this pointrepparttar 136702 assistant sounds like someone on a sinking ship who is throwing a life jacket intorepparttar 136703 water.

And that must make you wonder: why any intelligent person would hold a meeting that wastes everyoneís time and produces nothing.

There are easy answers such as 1) they donít know that their meetings could be effective, 2) they donít know what an effective meeting is like, or 3) they donít know how to hold an effective meeting.

But what aboutrepparttar 136704 rest of them? That is, what about all ofrepparttar 136705 executives who know how to plan and organize and run an effective business, but still hold bad meetings?

Letís dig deeper. These executives actually want to hold bad meetings because they prove to be useful. Hereís how.

1) They provide refuge. Bad meetings provide a sophisticated form of executive busyness. Some people find this useful because it keeps them from having to work on difficult tasks such as planning, coaching, learning, and communicating. Compared to these difficult tasks, sitting in a conference room is easy. In fact, it is so easy that a six-year old could do it, assuming you could convincerepparttar 136706 child to stay inside for such a pointless activity.

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