How to run effective meetings

Part 2: Holding the meeting

Last week, I provided you with tips for preparing for effective meetings. Today, I want to focus on the actual meeting, what to consider when running it and how to avoid it become a waste of your and the other participants’ time. This mini-series will finish off with the follow up of the meeting results and actions.

How can you get the most out of your meeting? Let’s look at this tips for running the meeting:

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How to run effective meetings

Part 1: Preparation for the meeting

Have you ever been stuck in meetings where you wondered what was going on? Or why you were even there in the first place? Unfortunately, this happened to me! It’s frustrating and makes these meetings appear as a waste of my time.

Companies can help their employees become more productive when setting up and running meetings. In fact, I’ve seen a number of organisations, mainly in the education sector, issue guidelines to their employees. For these teams, it has made them more productive and efficient. Given the limited resources we have, that’s a great achievement and in my view, we all should thrive towards more effective meeting cultures.

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No blog this week?!

First of all, please let me apologise for not publishing on Monday, and then again, yesterday. It was a tough and frustrating decision to not publish a blog post this week.

As my loved ones say, I have a tendency to overcommit and want to do a good (note, not perfect!) job. Last weekend, I had to complete a couple of projects and I also had some engagements this week. Knowing that my energies were running low, I chose to not publish this week.

It was part of saying my approach of “Say No to say Yes”.

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How to have an organised home office

Keeping the home office organised is a very common struggle for many of my readers. One of my clients and I spent a very productive decluttering session, purging, sorting and organising her papers and files. It was so rewarding seeing her achieve peace of mind by knowing where everything is now stored and according to her preferences.

I want to help you to be as productive as you can be in your home office and compiled some top tips for you:

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Dress to impress – What to wear for your next interview

Over the next few weeks, the great fashion shows of New York, Paris, London and Milan are taking place. The runway is a fabulous place to present some outstanding creations. Would it be something you could pick up and wear to an interview?

A number of the collections won’t make it into the wardrobe of a successful business owner or professional. Last week, a client asked me what to wear for her upcoming interview. It was with a conservative company and wearing loud colours does not fit into their culture, no matter how much my client loves them. After a Colour Me Beautiful colour analysis, we looked at her existing wardrobe, identified suitable pieces and also shopped for a few additions. She’s now all set to attend the final round of interviews!

Congratulations when you’ve been invited for a face-to-face interview! Now, how do you dress to impress?

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Do I need to develop myself?

“How do I find time for my own personal development?” That was a question a client asked me recently and it sparked an interesting conversation. Do you find time or do you make time?

Fed up by her company deciding on her next role, she wanted to take matters into her own hands. Her focus was her own career progression within the same organisation. She realised that there was no question about finding or making time. Making time was her only option if she wanted to determine her future herself.

Michael Moran, the CEO/Founder of 10Eighty, once suggested that we’d plan our careers like our holidays. It’s only January and my team and I had probably 12 chats about the places we wanted to visit this year. There weren’t 12 conversations about how we’d like to develop ourselves career-wise in 1, 2 or 5 years. Do you have these in your team?

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New year, new job

As we’ve entered the New Year, many of us decided to have New Year’s Resolutions. You know, things we want to improve or change like spending more time with friends and family, getting fit, eating healthy or looking for a new job. According to The Independent, almost half of the UK workforce are looking for a new job in 2016.

I’ve recently read that only 8% of resolutions are actually achieved. If looking for a new career opportunity is one of your New Year’s Resolutions, you certainly don’t want to belong to the vast majority of having failed their  resolutions. But what can you do if you’re looking for a new role?

Being organised and having a plan can reduce the stress often associated with a job search. The 16 steps outlined here will help you prepare and find that new job you’re looking for.

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Working from home

The other night, my colleague and I were talking about flexible working options and how to make it work for him. My boss sits in the UK and can’t watch over my shoulder for every task. He needs to trust me and my actions have shown that he can. Knowing how I’m working, he granted me a compressed working week and I can only say: “It’s brilliant!” Instead of working 8 hours over 5 days, it’s 10 hours over 4 days, giving me a 3 day weekend.

Now let’s focus on my colleague again. He’s interested in alternative ways of working. As he often has to attend telcons at 5:00 and 6:00 am, his days starts extremely early. After all, he’s in the office for these calls. We brainstormed how working from home can be beneficial for him and possibly also for you. Working from home! On days when calls are starting at 5:00 am, he could work from his house.

How can working from home work for you:

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Business travel – Enjoyable or pain?

OLAM SeychellesIn a previous role, I travelled long distance every 2 weeks and was very excited at my business travel at first. Isn’t this what everybody wanted? Seeing the world while working? Colleagues warned me that it’s physically and mentally exhausting. How can a trip to the Seychelles be tiring? Very as I quickly found out myself. Learning a lot about the different countries and cultures, I also became extremely efficient in packing. 15 minutes for a full suitcase! From choosing the outfit till closing the suitcase. How can you get ready for your business trip in no time?

Before you start packing, do these 5 things first:

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The Home Office – Are you still cleaning or already getting things done?

Today was a great day. Starting with a walk around the lake, I’ve attended a very informative seminar about medical benefits in the GCC. The best was finishing my work day from home.

To me, working from home has many advantages: Less interruptions and less distractions, a lot more focus and productivity! Given my various deadlines (who doesn’t have them), it was just what was needed and I was so pleased to close a number of activities off.

To some, working from home is a very different story. The laundry basket is calling your name, you haven’t seen your neighbour for a while, why not catch up and oh, you haven’t decided what to cook for dinner yet. What can you do to treat your home office just like your regular office?

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