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How to have efficient meetings?Tips for purchases

These are four tricks that will make your meetings constructive and efficient. This good advice is given by Elisabeth Durand-Mirtain, advisor-instructor.

• For the full duration of the meeting, a meeting leader should be appointed. That person can coordinate the interventions of the different participants. He or she will guard the rules and the agenda, and connects the various proposals.

• Propose a “guardian of time”: someone who controls the duration of speech, and who notifies the speaker when the end of the speaking time is near. Thus the guardian ensures that the meeting time will not be exceeded. To ensure this, someone should estimate beforehand how much time each agenda item will need.

• Use “parking”: meetings often diverge from the treated subject (because a participant has an idea on the spot, or because someone takes advantage of the meeting to solve a problem). Each time a subject wasn’t anticipated on the agenda, you can write it on the parking: a simple sheet of the paperboard. These subjects can be treated at the miscellany at the end of the meeting, or added to the agenda of the next meeting.

• One person – mostly the assistant – should take notes during the meeting to maintain only the most important ideas or the actions to be executed. Thanks to a template that’s filled in beforehand, an account of the meeting can be made immediately on a laptop. Thus, right after the meeting the account can be printed and given to the participants, or spread by email.