From Roger Schwarz: Most meetings get off course as soon as they start. Starting a meeting or simply a conversation is like launching a spacecraft. (No, you’re not on the lookout for aliens.) If you start the meeting just a little off course, by the end of it, you’ll be way off course. And making course corrections later costs a lot of time and energy. There are three major missteps at the beginning of meetings, and there are three basic steps you can take to make sure everyone is on board and headed in the same direction.