6 Critical Questions To Answer When Planning Your Next Project Meeting

25 million meetings take place in corporate America every day. Over 6.5 billion meetings per year! Is it any wonder that, 47% of employees cite too many meetings as a waste of productivity? Even more frightening is the fact that the average employee wastes 2 hours and 39 minutes in meetings each week. With September 2014 employment standing at 119.8 million full-time workers, that amounts to over 16.5 billion hours of wasted productivity each year.

While these are jarring statistics, project managers and leaders can help cut down on the wasted time in meetings. All it requires is a little expert planning.

Before you open Outlook to schedule your next meeting, ask yourself the following questions:

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3 Ways Business Owners Can Identify their True Company Culture

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There’s a lot of talk about what makes a great company culture these days. Zappos has their famous core family values. Google has their well-known flat heirarchy.

While there are lessons to learn from these companies, before you try to build a company culture by eliminating management in your organization or adding a nap room, it’s important to first examine your current culture.

You may be saying, “We don’t have a company culture.” That’s not true. Every group has a culture. Even groups of chimpanzees have cultures.

BusinessDictionary.com defines culture as:

“A pattern of responses discovered, developed, or invented during the group’s history of handling problems which arise from interactions among its members, and between them and their environment. These responses are considered the correct way to perceive, feel, think, and act, and are passed on to the new members through immersion and teaching. Culture determines what is acceptable or unacceptable, important or unimportant, right or wrong, workable or unworkable.”

Unfortunately, when you spend so much time on the inside, it’s hard to objectively view your culture. However, as the leader of an organization, such awareness is imperative. Awareness not only of your team or the organization you lead, but even yourself as well.

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8 Traits of Effective Leaders

If you assign a project to a group of people and then step back to observe, you’ll notice something interesting happen: some people hang out in the background; others step right in; and a few step up. Those who step up are the leaders and they’ll always emerge, even if they’re not assigned the role of leader. Leadership is innate; leaders are the team members who see a need, step up, and help guide the rest of the team to the goal.

Despite modern trends toward starfish organizations, holacratic workplaces, and open office environments, leadership matters more than ever. In real life, leaders are identified not by a name tag or LinkedIn title, but by their actions. People gravitate towards them. Their projects are smooth and successful.

You usually recognize a great leader when you come across one, but it can be hard to recognize that within yourself. To help you, here are eight characteristics found in most great leaders:

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The Secret to Being a Flexible Administrative Assistant

The Secret to Being a Flexible Administrative Assistant | 'Do It' written on chalk board

As an administrative assistant, there’s a good chance that you face more daily interruptions than anyone else in the office. One minute the only thing on your plate is a report for a client; the next minute, your boss needs a proposal prepared immediately, your co-worker needs help proofing a document, and, just when you go to the printer to pick up the handouts for tomorrow’s Quarterly Sales meeting, you discover the printer is out of ink. On top of this, you still need to book travel for three sales managers plus your boss, answer the phones, and greet any customers or visitors (with a smile of course). Did your pulse rate rise while reading that? I thought so.

There is one word that will help lower your pulse rate: prioritizing. If you prioritize effectively, you can be nimble when last minute requests and tasks come in. It’s a strange idea to plan ahead in order to be flexible, but really will help when things start piling up. And they will.

Here are six tips to help you prioritize so that you can deliver great internal and external service with a smile on your face.

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How to Build a Strong Team for your Project

How to Build a Strong Team for your Project | Business man working with social media figures

The quality of work that your company produces relies heavily on how well your team operates. A well oiled team can be the difference between delivering winning projects and losing clients/customers.

While no two teams are exactly alike, there are basic elements to keep in mind when building a strong team for your project:
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