by Mary Cantando, Founder of The Woman’s Advantage, Guest Contributor

Are you spending more time (and dollars!) in meetings than you should? Do you come out of meetings with nothing specific resolved? Maybe the issue is with the way you conduct those meetings.

Here are five steps to ensure that your meetings gain the best results.

Five Steps That Add Value to Meetings 

1. Ensure your topic requires a formal meeting. 

Meetings eat up time and money, so before calling a formal meeting, be sure the issue can’t be solved by an email or a walk down the hall.

2. Only invite those who need to be there. 

Don’t fill a room with extraneous people. Often times fewer is better..

3. Stay on topic.

Distribute an agenda prior to the meeting and stick to it.

4. Watch the time.

Schedule the correct amount of time for the meeting and then stay on schedule.

5. Summarize action items.

When you close the meeting, ensure all the attendees know their action items. You can also send a follow-up email listing actions, responsible parties and deadlines.