I often get asked for practical advice on how to do things more effectively in the office. One type of question that keeps coming up is about how to manage meetings whether they are scheduled or ad hoc. A big percentage of most professional’s day is spent in meetings. And unfortunately, 50% of that time is wasted!

There are different tips for running highly focused meetings. One of the most valuable is this –

For all in-house meetings, have everyone stand up.

Unless you’re with clients or running a day-long strategic session, get everyone up on their feet.

The results are amazing, as I’m sure you can well imagine!

Incidentals are avoided, irrelevant chit-chat is gone and people stay very alert. Over time, pre-meeting preparation is not only done, but becomes much more precise.

I’ve read several articles on why this type of meeting works so well with answers ranging from “everyone just wants to get back to their own chair” to “a different energy of professionalism and focus is present.” It doesn’t really matter though, because it works!

So well in fact that some newer office designs incorporate the idea into the layout. Conference rooms are often without their traditional board tables.

Action – Even if your company doesn’t adopt this meeting style, you can. Next time someone walks into your office or cubicle, stand up for the duration of the conversation.

Those who are simply hiding out in your space under the guise of needing information will soon stop and the others will appreciate your focused attention and energy.

(Have you experienced this type of meeting? What did you learn from it? Please share by leaving your reply in the comments box.)

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