Meetings are absolutely necessary. However, their length and sometimes boring nature can engender a new host of problems that are detrimental to employee morale and productivity. One study from Britain showed that workers, on average, spend upwards of 65 hours every single month in meetings. Here a few pieces of advice from some of the most effective business leaders such as Richard Branson and Guy Kawasaki.

Christopher Frank, who serves as a VP at American Express, likes to break things down to the basics. He asks his meeting goers to state the problem they need to examine in just a few words. If each person in the meeting gives a markedly different answer then you need to ensure you make the focus of the meeting more clear.

Suzanne Bates of Bates communication understands the importance of using humor. If you appear less stiff and actually make the meeting more enjoyable, your staff will respect you more as a leader.

Richard BransonLegendary entrepreneur Richard Branson continues tries to mix it up as much as possible regarding meetings. He often brings in speakers from a a variety of industries ranging space to biotechnology to spur his staff to think in a more creative and unbounded manner. He also holds meetings in less traditional spaces. He believes that going to the park for a meeting will also spur people to approach an issue with a new perspective.

Respect the opinions of your younger staff members believes the COO of Newsala, Sean Higby. Higby often invites his more junior workers to partake in a meeting as they often bring a fresh perspective and have insight into the problem at hand.

Kawasaki encourages to hold meetings to proactively confront failure. Prior to launching a new product or service, the best-selling author encourages that your team meet and imagine that the venture was a dismal failure. Brainstorm the potential issues and the possible remedies. This will help your team be prepared and equipped with solutions before anything actually does go awry.