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One of the most important skills to have in business is running effective meetings. Effective meetings help to keep your business on track, ensure that your employees know what to do, and help keep everyone on the team engaged. When meetings are unfocused, they become an inconvenience because everyone feels as though they are wasting their time. 

Only Include People Who Need to Be There

When you have a meeting, don’t invite people unless they need to be there. The meeting needs to be useful to anyone who is invited so that they can stay engaged throughout. If someone is giving a presentation, you can send the slides out ahead of time so that you can run the meeting as a discussion group about the presentation. Make the meeting size small so that the time is spent productively.

Create a Schedule for Your Meeting

You should map out a schedule for your meeting, and send the agenda out to the participants so that they know what to expect. You can also assign a facilitator to keep the meeting running on schedule. This person can make sure that everyone stays on topic, and they can give summaries where they are useful.

Make Sure That People Are Actively Listening

Active listening is when the participants are actively listening to whoever is talking in the meeting. There are things you can do to encourage this technique. You can make sure that everyone is comfortable and that the time of the meeting is ideal for everyone. This will minimize distractions. Break the ice when the meeting starts. You can ask everyone how their day is going, and make everyone feel comfortable. You can consider having a basket to hold the phones during the meeting, which will help prevent people from becoming distracted.

End the Meeting with Clear Plans for Everyone

Make sure that people know what their plan is when they leave the meeting. One way to help is to record your meeting and send out a link when it is over. You can assign follow-up tasks to people and give them a deadline. This helps them stay focused on the next steps.