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Writer Lisa Girard canvassed meeting experts and came up with a list of several deadly sins of meetings for Entrepreneur.com, including these:

Meetings that are a one-way conversation

Having one person lecture or present PowerPoint slides is a poor way of teaching – or motivating. Your culture should prod people to exchange ideas in meetings, rather than sit there numbly, recommends business strategy consultant Joe Calloway.

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Meetings that disrupt the most productive hours

Instead of eating into high-energy hours, hold meetings in the afternoon when they can be a welcome relief, suggests consultant Jackie Freiberg.

Meetings held in a bland environment

Conference rooms aren't very stimulating the first time you attend a meeting in one, let alone the 100th time. Ms. Freiberg suggests occasionally holding a walking meeting in a park, or around your building, which might stimulate fresh ideas. Added advantage: When you're not seated eye-to-eye, she says you may have the guts to offer unpleasant truths.

Meetings that are too formal and rigid.

A sense of humour can help energize the sessions. Or, advises trainer Eric Chester, you might be daring and break up your meeting with music, a video or engaging stories.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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