* Make a mind map or brief outline of what you want from the meeting. If you're not familiar with mind maps, check out Tony Buzan's books such as How to Mind Map (HarperCollins pound;7.99). Note what you want from the meeting, what you think others may want, and any constraints or other relevant factors.
* If you have reservations about an idea, state them as problems that can be solved. For example, if you believe something proposed is too expensive, you might say: "That sounds great, and maybe we could brainstorm where the extra money could be found."
* If your own idea meets with a negative response, be clear about the problem you were trying to solve, and involve others in finding ways to achieve these ends. This can turn a blaming session into a problem-solving one.
These tips will make your meetings more productive - and shorter.
Jurgen Wolff is a hypnotherapist, teacher and writer. For details of his Powerful Writing With NLP workshop in London on March 8, email: BstormUK@aol.com