business career entrepreneur success

Three Phases of a Meeting

Although most meetings follow a natural progression from beginning to end, you still need to maximize your time during each phase so you can meet the objectives of the meeting.

You can make the most of the time scheduled for each meeting if you know what should go on during the three phases of a meeting. The three phases are the beginning, the middle, and the end.

The beginning

The bulk of your time should be spent carrying out the meeting objectives, so keep time spent on the beginning phase to a minimum.

During this phase, you normally do three things to help set the tone: give a brief opening statement, give an overview of what will be accomplished during the meeting, and review the minutes of the previous meeting if the participants are members of a committee or group that meets regularly.

The middle

This forms the main bulk of the meeting and is when the objectives of the meeting are met. The specific activities that take place depend on the type of meeting it is. Possible activities include

  • Presentations — It is the leader’s responsibility to keep presenters from going over their allotted time. You can do this by reminding them how long they have to speak or by using a signal to indicate when their time is up.
  • Discussions — During a discussion period, participants may make suggestions, express concerns, or ask questions. The leader needs to focus the discussion by keeping the conversation on track.


business career entrepreneur success

Principles of Time-Effectiveness

Creating an Efficient Physical Environment

There is a direct relationship between the physical organization of your office and your productivity. If you do not make the most of your workspace, you will not get the most out of your time.

The size of your office, and the level of luxury in its furnishings, does not correlate directly, or inevitably, on your performance. So what does?

Three elements of physical organization

The three elements of the physical organization of your work space that have a positive or negative impact on your use of time are

  • tidiness,
  • comfort, and
  • structure.


Only have the files and papers that you’re actually using on your desktop. The only objects on your desk permanently should be work-related objects that you really need to have there.

It is easy to accumulate clutter on your desk and to find excuses to allow it to continue. But if papers are left strewn around, it is likely that you will expend unnecessary time locating them when you actually need them. Plus, clutter conveys an unfortunate impression of mental disorganization to co-workers.


business career entrepreneur success

Employee Orientation Versus Onboarding

Successful organizations are aware that their workforce is their biggest asset. Engaged employees who feel a sense of belonging to their company produce better results and are more likely to “go the extra mile” for their company.

Creating an engaging new hire experience is what onboarding is all about. If new hires are engaged in their early days with a company, they’ll feel more confident they’ve made the right choice of employer. Many company introductions take the form of a one-way dialog. However, onboarding involves much more.

As well as policies, employees learn how their job contributes to the overall organization. Through effective onboarding, employees also learn the culture, expectations, and day-to-day responsibilities of their department and organization.

Effective onboarding is a supportive process that starts as soon as the employee is hired and can extend up to a year and a half. Onboarding functions to set new employees up for success in their position by providing the support and “insider” information necessary to effectively navigate the new organizational landscape.

Employees learn how their work contributes to the overall efforts of the organization and how it integrates with that of their colleagues. A good onboarding process speeds up the rate at which new hires start to become productive and make a difference. It can transform a new recruit into a committed and engaged employee.

Good onboarding isn’t just good for the organization; it helps alleviate some of the stress of starting a new job and enables the new hire to develop a positive view of the organization.

Orientation versus onboarding

Standard in most companies, orientation involves welcoming new recruits and educating them about company policy and procedures. Benefits such as salary scales, time off, and payroll information might be outlined for the new employees. Some orientation processes also include a tour of the organization’s premises. These practices are treated as a single event.

Orientation isn’t separate from the onboarding process, but rather an integral part of it. Although they’re linked, there are a number of key differences between orientation and onboarding.


business career entrepreneur success

Is Telecommuting Right for You?

Productive telecommuting

With the strenuous demands of modern living, many people dream of more flexibility in their jobs — the kind that allows them to take care of their various responsibilities while still working and earning a paycheck.

With technological advances, companies are becoming increasingly open to flexible work arrangements.

In fact, many employees now work from home or other remote locations instead of performing all their work duties at the office. They stay in contact with managers and colleagues via e-mail, telephone, videoconferencing, or other technology.

This arrangement is known as telecommuting.

Telecommuting enables an employee to work some or even all days at home, making it possible to spend minimal time in the office.

But working from home doesn’t mean an employee can kick back and relax. To remain valuable to their companies, telecommuters must be productive.

The first step in being a productive telecommuter is to recognize whether telecommuting is right for you.

When making this decision, it’s important to determine how well you’ll be able to meet your company’s general expectations as a telecommuter. Aspects you should consider relate to professionalism, the environment you’ll work in, and how you’ll draw boundaries between work and personal time. You should also consider the need for communication and flexibility, and for keeping your company updated with your contact information.


Telecommuters should maintain professionalism. This means complying with all the terms of the telecommuting arrangement, including agreed quality standards for work. Telecommuters must also abide by company policies. For example, these might require that work documents be kept confidential.