Effective preparation is the key to efficient meetings, Scot Herrick writes. Among his tips: Know everyone's position beforehand, limit participants to only those who must be there and don't hesitate to just set out a decision that you know will be attacked. "Two things will happen after the attacking begins. First, you'll get 80% of what you want for the decision out of the room because you came up with it," he writes. "And, second, you'll get a better decision because the attacks will show what needs improving."

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