Now it's time to discuss meetings. Meetings are a huge part of how you communicate with team members and stakeholders. Let's cover some easy-to-follow do's and don'ts, you can use for meetings both in person or online so that you can use these communication best practices in the future. At their core, meetings make it possible for you and your team members or stakeholders to discuss how a project is going. But they can be so much more than that. Whether they're virtual or in person, team meetings can build trust and team spirit. They give you a chance to connect with the people you're working with beyond emails. Another benefit is that knowing who you're working with can give you a better perspective of where your work fits into the larger project. Regular meetings also make it easier to coordinate team goals, which makes it easier to reach your objectives. With everyone on the same page, your team will be in the best position to help each other when you run into problems too. Whether you're leading a meeting or just attending it, there are best practices you can follow to make sure your meetings are a success. There are some really simple things you can do to make a great meeting. Come prepared, be on time, pay attention, and ask questions. This applies to both meetings you lead and ones you attend. Let's break down how you can follow these to-dos for every meeting. What do I mean when I say come prepared? Well, a few things. First, bring what you need. If you like to take notes, have your notebook and pens in your bag or your work device on hand. Being prepared also means you should read the meeting agenda ahead of time and be ready to provide any updates on your work. If you're leading the meeting, make sure to prepare your notes and presentations and know what you're going to talk about and of course, be ready to answer questions. These are some other tips that I like to follow when I'm leading a meeting. First, every meeting should focus on making a clear decision and include the person needed to make that decision. And if there needs to be a meeting in order to make a decision, schedule it immediately. Don't let progress stall by waiting until next week's meeting. Lastly, try to keep the number of people at your meeting under 10 if possible. More people makes it hard to have a collaborative discussion. It's also important to respect your team members' time. The best way to do this is to come to meetings on time. If you're leading the meeting, show up early and set up beforehand so you're ready to start when people arrive. You can do the same thing for online meetings. Try to make sure your technology is working beforehand and that you're watching the clock so you don't miss a meeting accidentally. Staying focused and attentive during a meeting is another great way to respect your team members' time. You don't want to miss something important because you were distracted by something else during a presentation. Paying attention also means asking questions when you need clarification, or if you think there may be a problem with a project plan. Don't be afraid to reach out after a meeting. If you didn't get to ask your question, follow up with the group afterwards and get your answer. When you're the person leading the meeting, make sure you build and send out an agenda beforehand, so your team members can come prepared and leave with clear takeaways. You'll also want to keep everyone involved. Try to engage with all your attendees so you don't miss out on any insights from your team members. Let everyone know that you're open to questions after the meeting too. It's a great idea to take notes even when you're leading the meeting. This makes it easier to remember all questions that were asked. Then afterwards you can follow up with individual team members to answer those questions or send an update to your whole team depending on who needs that information. Now let's go over what not to do in meetings. There are some obvious "don'ts" here. You don't want to show up unprepared, late, or distracted for meetings. You also don't want to dominate the conversation, talk over others, or distract people with unfocused discussion. Try to make sure you give other team members a chance to talk and always let them finish their thought before you start speaking. Everyone who is attending your meeting should be giving their input. Provide opportunities for people to speak up, ask questions, call for expertise, and solicit their feedback. You don't want to miss out on their valuable insights. And try to have everyone put their phones or computers on silent when they're not speaking, you included. Now we've learned some best practices you can follow in meetings like come prepared, be on time, pay attention, and ask questions. We also talked about using meetings productively to make clear decisions and promoting collaborative discussions and to reach out after a meeting to address questions you or others might have had. You also know what not to do in meetings: showing up unprepared, late, or distracted, or talking over others and missing out on their input. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to productive, positive team meetings. But of course, sometimes there will be conflict in your team. We'll discuss conflict resolution soon.