3 Tips to Get Your Meeting off on the Right Foot

Last Updated Dec 30, 2009 11:27 AM EST

Even the greenest office hand knows that meetings are at the center of office life -- and also one of the most complained about aspects of the corporate world. So if you're new to hosting meetings but aware enough to know that many people find them a time suck, how can you make sure your gatherings get off on the right foot?
Business relationship guru and author of best seller Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi, recently offered three suggestions on his blog on how the new kid in cubeville (or even veteran managers) can show her meeting mates she respects their time and get them in the right frame of mind for maximum productivity.
  • Send a friendly email the day before. Tell them how much your looking forward to meeting them. Even better, share a relevant news story or quote you came across â€" if you've done your homework, you already have a good idea if it will interest the person.
  • Offer to get Starbucks on your way â€" for the admin, too. Make it casual: "I'm getting coffee and thought since I'm on my way, I could bring something for you and Jennifer too." And make sure you get the order right!
  • Get them away from their desk. See if they'll take the meeting outside of their office â€" if they don't want to go offsite, even downstairs in the company canteen is an improvement from them on one site of the desk, you on the other. I've studied this carefully and can tell you: There is a direct relationship between someone's proximity to their desk and their willingness to act like an a#$hole. If you can get them outside, you're almost guaranteed better behavior.
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(Coffee run image by christiexcore, CC 2.0)
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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.