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To Run a Meeting Well, Frame Topics as Questions

Companies looking for a quick way to boost efficiency should make certain that clear and precise agendas are used for each meeting.

Consider for a second every company that claims to want to boost operating efficiency. Then consider how many of those companies would probably experience significant boosts in overall productivity by enacting what most of us consider to be simple fixes. A perfect example is the humble meeting agenda, a beacon to guide employees through the dredges of miserable meetings. It’s incredible how in the year 2015, when we’ve got self-driving cars and flying robots delivering books, that some folks still haven’t quite grasped how to run a meeting. Luckily Roger Schwarz of Harvard Business Review has a nice piece up all about optimizing an agenda and zooming through the action items. For example:

“List agenda topics as questions the team needs to answer. Most agenda topics are simply several words strung together to form a phrase, for example: ‘office space reallocation.’ This leaves meeting participants wondering, ‘What about office space reallocation?’ When you list a topic as a question (or questions) to be answered, it instead reads like this: ‘Under what conditions, if any, should we reallocate office space?’”

As Schwarz notes, framing a topic as a question allows for team members to better prepare their points, work toward a common goal, and allows for everyone to understand when the discussion has ended (when the question has been answered). Check out the link below for more tips on how to construct a top-notch meeting agenda.

Read more at HBR.

Photo credit: Pressmaster / Shutterstock


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