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Making Meetings Matter Through Focus

Meetings are essential in business to foster important discussions, ideas, brainstorming and planning. How often, though, do you hear about professionals saying that they attended a meeting that they considered a waste of their time? More often than not, when meetings aren't focused, they fail to take direction and their accomplishments are minimal. In a recent appearance on Soundview Live, consultant and personal effectiveness expert Paul Axtell discussed key points from his book Meetings Matter, including the importance of focused speaking and focused listening.

In meetings, focused speaking will make a difference to how the meeting goes and focused speaking is clear, concise, relevant and respectful and it's easy to watch yourself. Every time you speak in a meeting, afterwards, give yourself a quick score from one to five. Was I clear? Was I concise? Was what I said relevant to the topic we were talking about and was I respectful? Did I speak in a way that makes it easy for people to respond back? Focused speaking.

Focused listening is attentive, patient, not judgmental and choosing to listen for something deliberately. Attentive means no multitasking, no distraction, no other work but when somebody speaks to you, they've got your full attention. Why? Because we've got attention and caring tightly associated, if you pay attention to me when I speak, I make up that you care. If you're doing other things, I might make up you're not interested or don't care, so attentive.


To learn how to become more efficient in meetings, download the on-demand recording of Paul Axtell's webinar, "Meetings Matter."

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Paul Axtell


Paul Axtell
Paul Axtell provides consulting and personal effectiveness training to a wide variety of clients, from Fortune 500 companies and universities to nonprofit organizations and government agencies. A large focus of his work is how to run effective and productive meetings—to turn them from dreaded calendar items into vital, productive sessions with measurable results.