Thursday, October 08, 2009

Forbes: How to Run a Meeting

Business Basics: How To Run A Meeting
By Susan Adams

Dr. Nadine Katz goes to a lot of meetings. Some of them last so long the participants have to order in food or switch rooms.

About seven years ago Katz, who is associate dean, professor and director of medical education in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, decided she'd try to figure out how to make those endless meetings more efficient.

Her study produced great results at Einstein. Though she doesn't like to toot her own horn--"I'm turning crimson right now," she says when asked how her meeting style has helped her career--she has improved a slew of committee conclaves at her institution. Two years ago she was promoted to associate dean. "You never know who's going to be in the room and who might be considering you for another opportunity," she allows. She even speaks to physicians' professional associations about how to improve meetings.

Katz's approach applies to meetings everywhere. Her tips go beyond the standard meeting advice, which pretty much comes down to start and end on time, set an agenda and stick to it.

Her number one recommendation:
Prepare, prepare and prepare some more. Not only does she lay out in advance a detailed agenda for a meeting and touch base with the participants to alert them to important points, she also surveys the physical space where the meeting will be held--down to details like the room temperature and whether there might be a flickering fluorescent light bulb. "I am someone who believes in overly preparing," she admits. When ordering refreshments, she even checks on individual taste. "If someone likes Tab, we order Tab," she says. Small amenities like that can help participants feel welcome and eager to participate.

Read the rest of this article at

Clearly there is a lot more to running an effective meeting than just showing up. It's all about the details.

Over the decades I've attended way too many meetings and enjoyed very few of them. You might understand my feelings about meetings.

“There are three types of meetings – boring, complete waste of time and postponed.”

George Torok
Host of radio show, Business in Motion
Motivational Business Speaker


No comments: