Focus and Restraint – Planning Meetings

Young Businesswoman Using Cell Phone During Meeting
Source: TheBrunetteDiaries

In my previous posts I discussed the structure of business meetings and how to plan them. Another major part of having a productive meeting is how the members of the meeting conduct themselves during the meeting itself.

The first concept to keep in mind is focus. There are many things that could make a meeting distracting, so it’s best to mitigate distractions as much as possible. One of the biggest distracting forces in the modern business world is technology. Phones, tablets, smart watches, and similar items should be forbidden from the meeting room. It’s hard to focus on what the speaker is talking about if attendees are too busy checking their text messages or social media. Another distracting force might be the speakers themselves. Their speech might be scattered or difficult to follow. Pen and paper should be available for attendees so that they are able to take notes and stay on track with the meeting.

The second important concept is restraint. Participants should restrain from interrupting speakers too soon, waiting for an appropriate time to comment or provide input. However, the speaker should also restrain from speaking too much or being vague. Another problem to look out for is the volume of people attending the meeting. Invite as few people as necessary. The less people there are at a meeting the easier it is to stick to the agenda and be productive. A good maximum number of attendees is about ten people. Any more than that and trying to ask for input can become a major headache.

Keep these two concepts in mind the next time you host or attend a meeting. When everyone has focus and restraint, it’s easier to stay on track and be effective.



Bruce, B. (2015, March 03). 7 Habits of Highly Effective Meetings – Project Management Hacks. Retrieved March 05, 2016, from

Vozza, S. (2015, July 28). How 12 Companies Make Meetings Memorable, Effective, and Short. Retrieved March 05, 2016, from



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