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9 common-sense rules for getting the most out of meetings

https://ideas.ted.com/9-common-sense-rules-for-getting-the-most-out-of-meetings/#

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9 common-sense rules for getting the most out of meetings
In 1974, Ray Dalio founded the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, and it's now the world's largest, managing roughly $160 billion. Besides its financial success, Bridgewater has become known for creating a unique culture of radical truth and radical transparency. Here is Dalio's advice for how to run meetings that don't go off the rails.

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Goals and directors of a meeting

Goals and directors of a meeting
Without someone clearly responsible, meetings have a high risk of being directionless and unproductive.

Every meeting should be aimed at achieving someone’s goals; that person is the one responsible for the meeting and decides what they want to get out of it and how they will do so. 

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Align objectives with appropriate types of communication

Align objectives with appropriate types of communication
Make clear what type of communication you are going to have in light of the objectives and priorities. 

If your goal is to have people with different opinions work through their differences (i.e., open-minded debate), you’ll run your meeting differently than if its goal is to educate.

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Asertiveness and open-mindedness

Asertiveness and open-mindedness

It is up to the meeting leader to balance conflicting perspectives, push through impasses and decide how to spend time wisely.

If you’re running the conversation, you should be weighing the potential cost in the time that it takes to explore opinions of inexperienced employees versus the potential gain in being able to assess their thinking and gain a better understanding of what they’re like.

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Watch out for “topic slip"

Watch out for “topic slip"

Topic slip is random drifting from topic to topic without achieving completion on any of them. 

One way to avoid is by tracking the conversation on a whiteboard so that everyone can see where you are.

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Enforce logic in conversations

Enforce logic in conversations

People’s emotions tend to heat up when there is a disagreement. Remain calm and analytical at all times; it is more difficult to shut down a logical exchange rather than an emotional one. 

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Assigning personal responsibilities

Assigning personal responsibilities
Often, groups will make a decision to do something without assigning personal responsibilities, so it is not clear who is supposed to follow up by doing what. 

Be clear in assigning personal responsibilities.

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The “2-minute rule”

The “2-minute rule”

It establishes that you have to give someone 2 uninterrupted minutes to explain their thinking, before jumping in with your own. 

This ensures everyone has time to communicate their thoughts without worrying they will be misunderstood or drowned out by a louder voice.

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Watch out for assertive “fast talkers

Watch out for assertive “fast talkers
They things faster than they can be assessed, as a way of pushing their agenda past other people’s examination or objections. 

If you’re feeling pressured, say something like, “I’m going to need to slow you down so I can make sense of what you’re saying.” Then, ask your questions. 

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Achieve completion in conversations

Achieve completion in conversations

Conversations that fail to reach completion are a waste of time. 

When there is an exchange of ideas, it is important to end it by stating the conclusions. If there is agreement, say it; if not, say that. When further action has been decided, get those tasks on a to-do list, assign people to do them, and specify due dates

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

#1 New York Times Bestseller “Significant...The book is both instructive and surprisingly moving.” —The New York Times Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals. In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history and grown into the fifth most important private company in the United States, according to Fortune magazine. Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Along the way, Dalio discovered a set of unique principles that have led to Bridgewater’s exceptionally effective culture, which he describes as “an idea meritocracy that strives to achieve meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical transparency.” It is these principles, and not anything special about Dalio—who grew up an ordinary kid in a middle-class Long Island neighborhood—that he believes are the reason behind his success. In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life, such as creating “baseball cards” for all employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses, and employing computerized decision-making systems to make believability-weighted decisions. While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision-making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they’re seeking to achieve. Here, from a man who has been called both “the Steve Jobs of investing” and “the philosopher king of the financial universe” (CIO magazine), is a rare opportunity to gain proven advice unlike anything you’ll find in the conventional business press.

Principles = Fundamental Truths

Principles = Fundamental Truths
  • Principles are essential truths that work as the foundations for the behavior that leads you where you want in life.
  • Those principles that are most valuable come f...

Pre-Packaged Principles

Your principles should reflect the values you truly believe in.

While it isn’t always a bad thing to use the principles of someone else (it’s hard to come up with your own, and often much wisdom has gone into those already created), adopting pre-packaged principles without much reflection can expose you to the risk of inconsistency with your true values.

Principles In Relationships

Your principles will influence your standards of behavior. In relationships with other people, your and their principles will decide how you collaborate.

People who have shared values and principles get along. People who don’t share values and principles, experience misunderstandings and conflict with one another. Most of the times in relationships, our principles are ambiguous.

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The first 5-7 minutes of a meeting

....is the most important component for conducting more effective meetings.

It establishes the parameters, organizes the terms of reference and tells everybody in the room w...

Begin right on time

During a meeting, do not penalize the people who were there on time by waiting for others who are late. 

Assume that the latecomer is not coming at all and get right on with the meeting.  

Encouraging open discussions

Leaders should take up the role of facilitators and avoid dominating the discussions.

During meetings, it’s very important to get input from everybody, not only from those eager to contribute but even from those who are shyer and less likely to speak up.  

What makes meetings effective

  1. They achieve the meeting's objective.
  2. They take up a minimum amount of time.
  3. They leave participants feeling that a sensible process has been followed.

The Meeting's Objective

An effective meeting serves a useful purpose. This means that in it, you achieve a desired outcome.

For a meeting to meet this outcome, or objective, you have to be clear about what it is.

To prepare an agenda, consider the following factors:

  • Priorities – what absolutely must be covered?
  • Results – what do you need to accomplish at the meeting?
  • Participants – who needs to attend the meeting for it to be successful?
  • Sequence – in what order will you cover the topics?
  • Timing – how much time will spend on each topic?
  • Date and time – when will the meeting take place?
  • Place – where will the meeting take place?