Meetings are one of the most basic functions of any organization, yet they often aren’t given the attention they deserve. Meetings play a pivotal role in the shaping and strengthening of a workplace culture.

Sadly, most people disdain meetings and it’s hard to blame them. Meetings are often poorly run and poorly structured—thus participants leave feeling like they’ve wasted their time. It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are three simple suggestions to help you dramatically improve your meetings.

#1 Make the Purpose Clear 
The purpose of every meeting must always be clear. When there is a clear understanding of why the meeting exists and why it is essential, people can buy into why it must take place. Additionally, when the core objective of the meeting is clear, non-essential and inappropriate discussions are replaced with relevant ones. When team members clearly understand what the meeting is trying to accomplish, their interest and engagement in the meeting increases.

#2 Define Roles 
If people don’t know what role they are supposed to play in a meeting they may wonder why they are even there. Or worse, they may play the wrong role and unintentionally slow down or disrupt the meeting. When people know their parts and how they should participate and help in the meeting, it improves participation, effectiveness, and efficiency.

#3 Improve Your Attitude 
A leader’s attitude about meetings has a big impact on others’ attitudes about meetings. If a leader views meetings as drudgery or an evil necessity, others will mirror this thought pattern. On the other hand, if leaders are enthusiastic and positive about meetings, others will follow as well. A leader must be careful with how they portray negative feelings towards meetings and always maintain a positive attitude about them.

Meetings play a big role in every organization. Make sure your meetings aren’t  a waste of time by making the purpose clear, clearly defining roles, and improving your attitude. Implementing these three suggestions will dramatically improve your meetings and at the same time strengthen your culture.

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