Set an agenda and stick to it. If you say you’re going to spend 30 minutes discussing the best new spot for Friday post-work cocktails, pick a bad guy to announce when that time is up and shut down the meeting or move on.

Ensure that your key message gets across. “I’ll ask my team ‘Did you guys understand this?’ and then I let them say it back to me in their own words,” says Christine Scott, managing director of the agency Community, who manages 25 people and averages about five meetings a day. “You have to remember that not all of the information gets absorbed in the person’s brain the way you want it to be absorbed. Always open it up for questions, even if you perceive them as redundant. That’s [your team] processing information to get it on their to-do lists properly.”



Bring a notebook and pen. Your brain absorbs more when you actually spell it out. 

Stash your phone at your desk. According to a 2014 Virginia Tech study, having your phone with you in a meeting — even if you’re not looking at it — can be distracting. Wait until after to find out what the group chat is saying about The Bachelor finale.

This article originally appeared in the career special in the October 2017 issue.



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