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Lesson 19. Make Meetings Matter > Facilitate Effectively - Pg. 77

Make Meetings Matter Caution 77 Don't wait too long to step in and cut off a participant for fear of offending him or her. If you do, the meeting may have already run away from you. Step in sooner rather than later. Generally, the other participants will recognize what you're trying to do and support your efforts. If you don't step in, you run the risk of losing control of the meeting and sitting there helplessly while it fails to accomplish its goal. Read Your Audience When an attendee is talking too long, or a meeting is running out of gas, the participants will let you know it. They may not say anything; they don't have to. Just read their body language. Their lack of interest or exhaustion is written all over their faces. You can see it in their posture. They may start looking at their watches or drumming their fingers on a table. React quickly. Get the meeting back on track and start moving it toward a successful conclusion. Otherwise, everyone is likely to walk away having accomplished nothing. You want your meeting to accomplish the goal that you set for it. Conclude with an Action Plan Meetings often seem to suffer from a lack of closure. No one knows how to carry out any of the decisions reached at them, and the result is that nothing ever gets accomplished. Your meeting should conclude with an action plan. Explain to participants what is expected of them so that you can achieve the goals you agreed on at the meeting. Set reasonable timelines to ensure that the targets are met. It's the best way to eliminate any misunderstandings and ensure that every