It would be nice to attend meetings that are actually productive, but who wants to read a book about them? Me neither. But make an exception for Running a Meeting That Works, by Robert F. Miller. Reasonably entertaining to read, this little book will give you commonsense suggestions on preparing for a meeting, running a meeting, encouraging participation, assessing success, and reporting results.

My favorite chapter in the book contains concrete steps for dealing with all manner of demons that plague meetings, including the Yakkers, the Squabblers, the Tyrants, the Vacuums, and the Interminables. Published by Barron's Educational Series (800-645-3476; in New York, 800-257-5729), the 88-page book is $4.95 (plus $1.75 for postage).

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