Business meetings can foster collaboration, innovation and action – yet most employees gasp with frustration at the thought of another meeting.

Stop encouraging meeting mediocrity and, instead, use every meeting to make things happen with these tips:

  1. Ask yourself, does this meeting really need to happen?
  2. Select participants wisely – does everyone really need to be in the meeting?
  3. Provide an agenda to participants in advance.
  4. Clearly determine and communicate the intended meeting outcomes so that participants understand the purpose and benefits of meeting.
  5. If attendees are required to review information in advance, send it to them prior to the meeting; do not waste time reviewing documents during the meeting.
  6. Establish standard meeting etiquette that is used consistently. For example, start and end on time and give everyone the opportunity to contribute to the discussion.
  7. Instill an action-driven culture even during meetings.
  8. Document assigned actions and the person or team responsible for each action; everyone needs to leave with meaningful things to accomplish.
  9. Communicate when actions must be completed; follow up on each action to ensure completion.
  10. Have someone take notes – ideally a support person so the CEO or executive team can think rather than write or type.
  11. Encourage collaboration but stay focused, otherwise meetings will always take up more time than allotted.
  12. Recap actions at the end and then send a summary to everyone within half an hour.