Skip to main content

6 ways to run a better meeting




There are few more self-destructive acts for an employer than to waste its employees’ time. You not only squander productivity but also hurt morale. Among the most common culprits of wasted time are bad meetings. A sloppily managed one can leave employees grumbling and frustrated for hours, even days, afterward. Here are six ways to run a better meeting:

1. Start on time. Beginning promptly shows you respect people’s time and encourages punctuality as an aspect of your organizational culture. Train and encourage meeting leaders to adhere to firm start times. Managers should address chronic latecomers verbally first (but after the meeting), and in writing later if necessary.

2. Lead with something positive. Poorly run meetings can quickly devolve into unproductive gripe sessions. Set the tone for a more constructive discussion of your agenda items by leading off with some good news highlighting an organizational or individual accomplishment.

3. Clear the air. After a positive start, if there’s an “elephant in the room,” confront it. Examples include a sudden staff change, bad sales report or unflattering story in the media. Say whatever needs to be said to acknowledge it and, if appropriate, discuss it. Then move on to a more constructive topic.

4. Deploy multiple voices. Depending on the agenda and meeting length, it’s usually a good idea to ask more than one team member to address a topic and lead a discussion. This will give the meeting more of a dynamic feel — lessening the likelihood that attendees will tune out a single voice. It also eases the burden on one person to run the whole show.

5. Follow a “no rehash” rule. Every topic should be thoroughly discussed. But backtracking to previous agenda items can turn meetings into a chaotic, confusing and laborious mess. Establish and enforce a clearly stated policy that, once the meeting has moved forward, previous discussions cannot be restarted.

6. Conclude optimistically with actionable tasks. Just as you started positively, also try to end the meeting on an upbeat, motivational note. Not every agenda item will require follow-up action, but many will. Identify those that do call for action and assign clear tasks to the appropriate attendees. Otherwise, dismiss everyone with a renewed sense of urgency to work on the items discussed. Contact us for more ideas on how to better accomplish your strategic objectives.

© 2018

Popular posts from this blog

Is now the time to start offering paid parental leave?

Paid parental leave isn’t required under federal law. This means the United States is among only a few developed nations without a mandate for employers to offer compensated time off to mothers and fathers following the birth or adoption of a child. (Some states do have laws on the books.) Prevailing public opinion and the recent moves of some large employers, however, indicate a rising interest in this benefit.

For example, 82% of respondents to a 2017 Pew Research Center poll said mothers should receive paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. (Sixty-nine percent said the same of fathers.) Meanwhile, mega-employer Walmart just launched an expanded parental leave policy this year. It features 10 paid weeks off for birth mothers and six weeks for other new parents, applicable to both hourly and salaried workers.

Potential advantages for employers

Is now the time for your organization to offer paid parental leave? Although it helps employees, of course, parental leave can al…

Assessing the S corp

The S corporation business structure offers many advantages, including limited liability for owners and no double taxation (at least at the federal level). But not all businesses are eligible - and, with the new 21% flat income tax rate that now applies to C corporations, S corps may not be quite as attractive as they once were.

Tax comparison

The primary reason for electing S status is the combination of the limited liability of a corporation and the ability to pass corporate income, losses, deductions and credits through to shareholders. In other words, S corps generally avoid double taxation of corporate income — once at the corporate level and again when distributed to the shareholder. Instead, S corp tax items pass through to the shareholders’ personal returns and the shareholders pay tax at their individual income tax rates.

But now that the C corp rate is only 21% and the top rate on qualified dividends remains at 20%, while the top individual rate is 37%, double taxation might b…

Haven’t filed your 2017 income tax return yet? Beware of these pitfalls

The federal income tax filing deadline is slightly later than usual this year — April 17 — but it’s now nearly upon us. So, if you haven’t filed your individual return yet, you may be thinking about an extension. Or you may just be concerned about meeting the deadline in the eyes of the IRS. Whatever you do, don’t get tripped up by one of these potential pitfalls.

Filing for an extension

Filing for an extension allows you to delay filing your return until the applicable extension deadline, which for 2017 individual tax returns is October 15, 2018.

While filing for an extension can provide relief from April 17 deadline stress and avoid failure-to-file penalties, there are some possible pitfalls:


If you expect to owe tax, to avoid potential interest and penalties you still must (with a few exceptions) pay any tax due by April 17.


If you expect a refund, remember that you’re simply extending the amount of time your money is in the government’s pockets rather than your own. (If you’re owed a …