Meetings. Everyone has them, and unfortunately there are always those you wish you could do without. Not every meeting can or will be fun, however, most every meeting can be made more effective and productive if everyone at the meeting is mentally engaged.

It’s difficult to have everyone thinking about the meeting and not about what’s on his or her to-do list or emails they have to respond to. Embolden your employees to be actively listening and responding to what’s being said. If someone doesn’t agree or has an opinion, let it be said and discussed. Feedback should always be appreciated. It is difficult for a leader to present an idea and receive nothing but silence as an answer.

Leaders should instill corporate core values and also encourage everyone to be in the present by requiring everyone to either leave their phones at their desks, or have them away from their line of sight. Let’s face it – phones are a distraction and usually divert attention from the issues being discussed. I once had a boss who made everyone put their phones in the center of the conference room table at each meeting. The owner of the first phone to go off had to buy lunch that day. If the distraction of emails, texts, and the all-knowing Internet isn’t at a person’s disposal, it is easier to get them to be present and actually pay attention to what’s being discussed.

Now, this is not promising for exciting, fun or even interesting gatherings – for some of those, you may have to pull out the “Friday drink cart.” However, being mentally present can lead towards more successful and productive meetings. At least if you’re going to have them, why not make them productive?

About the Blog: Culture Counts is a blog devoted to the discussion of law firm culture and corporate core values. Frequent topics include positive work environment, conscious capitalism, entrepreneurial management, positive workplace culture, workplace productivity, and corporate core values

About the Firm: Klemchuk LLP is an Intellectual Property (IP), Technology, Internet, and Business law firm located in Dallas, TX. The firm offers comprehensive legal services including litigation and enforcement of all forms of IP as well as registration and licensing of patents, trademarks, trade dress, and copyrights. The firm also provides a wide range of technology, Internet, e-commerce, and business services including business planning, formation, and financing, mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, data privacy, and domain name dispute resolution. Additional information about the IP law firm and its IP attorneys may be found at

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