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Steven Sjolander
Senior Vice President of Operations
L & C Insulation, Inc.
La Crosse, Wisconsin 

Before I enter into a meeting, I like to have a clear objective and understanding of what we need to accomplish, and then make sure we reach the goals we have set. Because face-to-face meetings with several attendees have a tendency to stray away from the goals you set forth, the use of an agenda or other hand-outs really help to keep things moving forward and on track. 

When entering into a meeting with a client or colleagues, I really want them to feel comfortable and welcome. An easy way to accomplish this is to engage in a conversation with them about how their day is going as a good ice breaker. 

Another step I like to take is introducing our clients to the ever-changing materials we use in our industry. It seems the more informed they are of the products in use, the smoother these meetings usually progress.  

Lastly, I remind attendees at any type of meeting that our company is about performance, quality and safety. Achieve all these areas and everything will be a success.  

Deron Brown
President & COO, U.S. Operations
PCL Construction
Denver

PCL Construction is 100 percent employee owned, so using our time wisely is immensely important for our employees, our clients and our partners. We pride ourselves on being solution providers and delivering innovative results to the unique challenges that can arise during construction. 

Most PCL meetings have pre- circulated agendas, allocated time frames and supporting materials. Providing all of this ahead of time helps ensure everyone is on the same page and ready to get to work. If everyone comes to the meeting with the same goals in mind, things tend to run a lot smoother.

Additionally, making sure the right people are in the room can be a key for success. We have some of the industry’s best and brightest people working at PCL, so pulling on a subject matter expert’s knowledge from the beginning can save a lot of time for everyone in the long run. 

Meeting minutes capture the discussion, decisions made and future action items to be completed, and staff are assigned to those action items and dates for accountability. 

Eric G. Regelin
President
Granix, LLC
Ellicott City, Maryland

Here are some tips for avoiding meetings that are too long or unfocused. Number one: Don’t have a meeting unless you really need one.

If a meeting is required, send a calendar invite with the starting and ending times and make sure everyone who needs to be there is included. It’s equally important not to invite people who don’t need to be at the meeting. Don’t waste your (or someone else’s) valuable time. 

Every meeting needs to have an agenda with a timeline and desired outcomes for each topic. Make sure everyone gets a copy before the meeting. Don’t lose track of your agenda by going into too many details. In other words, don’t go into the weeds unless you intend to cut them.

Also, as the meeting leader, it’s OK if you don’t know all the answers. It’s much more important to know what the questions are. The rest of the attendees will help you find the answer, so encourage everyone to participate.

Finally, and most importantly, be sure to end the meeting with action items, who’s responsible for them and when they will be completed.

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