Chapter 9Run Killer MeetingsFacilitating Like a Pro to Get Results

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.

—RYUNOSUKE SATORO

Meetings are a fact of life and an essential part of doing business and collaborating in the corporate arena. When they are run effectively, meetings can foster relationships, solve problems, and develop stronger teams. Meetings, both good ones and bad, can actually affect the level of an employee's happiness. One study out of the University of North Carolina showed that the feelings a worker had about the meetings they attended at their company had a direct correlation to the general satisfaction or dissatisfaction they felt about their job.1 Those working in the corporate arena are attending more and more meetings. Research shows that meetings have increased in length and frequency over the past 50 years, with executives now spending an average of nearly 23 hours a week in them, up from less than 10 hours in the 1960s.2 And because so many of the meetings people attend are poorly run or unnecessary, they often end up undermining effective communication and collaboration instead of improving them.

One survey from Microsoft found that 69 percent of people worldwide (and 71 percent in United States) felt that the meetings at their company were ineffective.3 Common complaints included: the timing or location of the meeting changing at the last minute, people arriving late or being unprepared, side conversations that distract from the agenda, ...

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