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Book Review: Get the most from your meetings

As so many business people around the world already know, few people are satisfied with the quality of their meetings at work. A recent study in the US found that 50% of managers surveyed considered many meetings to be a „waste of time.“, 90% said most meetings were a failure due to „lack of advanced planning and organization,“and over 75% said that they received no formal training on how to conduct a meeting. To make matters worse, American professionals attend an average of 61.8 meetings per month, and research suggests that 50% of that time is wasted. We can assume that the situation in Europe is similar.

Despite this general feeling of dissatisfaction, meetings are here to stay because they’re still one of the most efficient ways to share information and solve problems at work. However, it’s wrong to think that they’re necessary in every situation, or that they cannot be improved. The question is: if we must have meetings, what concrete steps can we take to guarantee they are effective and efficient in terms of time, effort and money?

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Along with our  latest eBook „Keys to effective meetings“, here’s a list of resources you can use to make your meetings more effective.

Facilitation Made Easy: Practical Tips to Improve Meetings and Workshops

Esther Cameron

Facilitation Made Easy is a comprehensive study of the complete process of planning, carrying out and debriefing workshops, conference calls and meetings. In addition to a description of what you need to do, this book also describes why, so you know the theory behind the key factors that make a meeting successful.

Meetings That Work!: A Practical Guide to Shorter and More Productive Meetings

Richard Chang & Kevin Kehoe

Written by consultants with experience working with multinational companies, Meetings That Work! focuses on keeping meetings short, concise and to the point. Examples and techniques are provided that you can put to work in your meetings right away.

Talk Lean: Shorter Meetings. Quicker Results. Better Relations.

Alan Palmer

‘Talk lean‘ in this context means to use fewer words and less time to convey your intended message to your audience, while being careful to remain respectful, polite and considerate. The focus in this book is on honing your communication so that you’re always using time in the most efficient way possible.

Read This Before Our Next Meeting

Al Pittampalli

Pittampalli starts with an interesting question: “What can you do to make a difference in your company’s meeting culture that requires no one’s permission but your own?” The emphasis here is on responsibility: when you make changes that work based on your own initiative, others have no choice but to follow your example. One of the more thought-provoking books on meetings and meeting culture, Read This Before Our Next Meeting will challenge you to take personal responsibility for the quality of the meetings you hold.

Boring Meetings Suck: Get More Out of Your Meetings, or Get Out of More Meetings

Jon Petz

If you can’t tell from the title, Boring Meetings Suck is an unconventional and irreverent look at how meetings work and why they sometimes go wrong. Petz takes a humorous approach to some of the more common problems with meetings in companies around the world. The situation becomes less humorous as you realize many of the situations happen in your own organization every day.

Meeting and Event Planning Playbook: Meeting Planning Fundamentals

Debi Scholar &  Susan Losurdo

While it’s written from an administrative assistant’s perspective, the Meeting and Event Planning Playbook can still be useful for the comprehensive view of the meeting planning process it offers. The section “75 Questions to Ask to Plan a Meeting” might come in handy for meetings where you need to make a particularly good impression, like customer visits.