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Making meetings fun again?

<p>Where do the days go? Scroll through your calendar and you might find that mammoth chunks of your 9-to-5 are swallowed up by the corporate conference room, the conversation vortex where clocks melt and time crawls by at the speed of a PowerPoint.</p>

Where do the days go? Scroll through your calendar and you might find that mammoth chunks of your 9-to-5 are swallowed up by the corporate conference room, the conversation vortex where clocks melt and time crawls by at the speed of a PowerPoint.


More than a third of Americans consider meetings to be “a complete waste of time,” according to a survey by California’s Meeting Solutions. And you need not convene a roundtable to brainstorm why.


“If you’re taking an hour and a half to hold your meetings, then multiply that by ten people in the room,” executive coach Barbara Frankel says. “That’s a great deal of time.”


Career gurus note that meeting management is fundamental to office leadership; for executives, “it’s one of the key skills,” notes Dare Kurow, executive advisor.


Plus, if you play the clock right, you can salvage some semblance of efficiency from the ritual. Start with a pre-planned strategy of not handing the conversation steering wheel to the diversion artists, brag-a-holics and perpetual fault-finders who passive-aggressively sabotage the docket by subject-swapping, Frankel warns.


Focusing on post-meeting “action items,” she says, can keep heads from tilting toward the table.


“Define what the goal is and the action that’s going to be taken,” she says. “Then define who’s going to do it and what resources they need.”

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