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Everyone dreads them, but most of us are afraid to say so. Meetings are often a necessary evil that we have to put up with to get the job done. But how can you make sure that your meetings are as useful and productive as possible? Here are some simple strategies for improving your meetings so that they’re not just bearable, but beneficial for all involved.

Set Ground Rules

Meetings may be considered a social occasion, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a professional purpose. You may want to consider setting some ground rules for your meetings. This can make people feel more comfortable and help the meeting run more smoothly.

For example, you may want to ask people to keep their phones in their pockets so that the meeting is not distracted by notifications.

Have an Agenda

Having an agenda is important not just to structure your meeting, but also to make sure that every attendee knows what they’re there to discuss. This can make people feel more comfortable and confident in the meeting.

If a meeting kicks off with an unclear agenda, people may feel like they’re wandering in the dark with no sense of direction.