In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 16, 2005 / 11 Av, 5765

How Good Are You at Running a Meeting?

By Marty Nemko

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What words come to mind when I say the word "meetings?" For me, it's "boring, a waste."

I'm not alone. A study by MCI found that most professionals believe that over 50 percent of meeting time is wasted. 91 percent of those surveyed admit to daydreaming in meetings, 96 percent to missing them altogether. Seventy three percent say they have brought other work to meetings and 39 percent say that they've actually fallen asleep at meetings.

You'd think, therefore, that meetings were decreasing. In fact, 46 percent of those surveyed reported attending more meetings than a year ago.

Well, if meetings are inevitable, at least they should be as useful as possible. To that end, see how you do on the Meetings Effectiveness Test. Much of the content is derived from articles on www.effectivemeetings.com.

1. Which of these are good reasons to call a meeting?

a. For people give progress reports.

b. To brainstorm.

c. Both a and b.

Answer: b. Meetings are most justifiable when a problem requires real-time group problem solving. It's usually more time-effective to give progress reports via email.

2. In general, the ideal meeting length is:

a) 15 minutes

b) 45 minutes

c) 60 minutes

Answer b: That maximizes attention span.

The remaining questions are True or False.

3. Each meeting agenda should list the topics to be discussed, for example, the company pay structure.

False. Each meeting's agenda item should list the expected outcome, for example, an agreement on a new pay structure. That reduces the risk that the meeting will be all jawboning and no outcome.

4. In advance, the leader should send participants the agenda, including the time allocated to each item.

True. Knowing the allocated time encourages people to be time-effective in their comments.

5. Often, the leader should give participants something to prepare for the meeting. For example, for problem-solving meetings, have the group read the necessary background information and then think of one possible solution to the problem.

True. That will make the meeting more significant for each member.

6. If you know you're going to advocate for something, your opening sentence should be rehearsed.

True. First impressions matter a lot. Also, getting off to a good start will increase your confidence.

7. It's often wisest to have a meeting first thing in the morning.

False. That's the worst time. That's when people are freshest and should be working on activities requiring maximum performance. Meetings are rarely that activity. Scheduling your meeting just before lunch or day's end also encourages people to stay within the time limit-they want to get out.

8. If there's an issue you plan to argue for in a meeting, try to sit so you have eye contact with your allies and seat your opponents apart from each other.

True. Divide and conquer.

9. If some participants are late, wait five minutes before starting so you avoid having to go over material again.

False. Meetings should start on time so as not to punish the punctual. In future meetings, tardy types will more likely show up on time. Starting on time also shows you value participants' time.

10. The leader's introductory remarks outside the agenda items should only last a minute or two.


11. Encourage people to air their opinions, even if controversial.

True. On important contentious issues, consider bringing in an outside facilitator.

12.Praise in Public, Criticize in Private


13. Even if an attendee is long-winded, the leader should rarely interrupt.

False. Long-winded or tangential statements are a major reason people hate meetings. You'll be appreciated for tactfully cutting them off.

14. During meetings, it's often wise to have an activity that breaks the attendees up into groups of two or three.

True. That maximizes participation and alertness.

15. If the participants are starting to look bored, the chair should propose a 10-minute break.

False. Unless you've already been going for longer than 45 minutes, it's wiser to pick up the pace by standing up and speaking louder and more quickly to arouse the participants. Also choose lively participants to address the meeting,

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16. Document the decisions made by the group, especially the person assigned to an action item and when and who will follow-up to be sure it's done.


17. At the end of each meeting, review its effectiveness and suggest improvements for the next meeting.


At Intel, every new employee, from the most junior production worker to the highest ranking executive, is required to take the company's course on effective meetings. For years, the course was taught by CEO Andy Grove, who believed that good meetings were so important that it was worth his time to train all employees.

Is it worth your time to learn the above principles and perhaps train your co-workers on them?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

400+ of Dr. Nemko's published writings are on www.martynemko.com. Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, Dr. Marty Nemko