Would you rather skip the meetings in general? Or maybe you would prefer to push them to another day? I agree, not everyone loves meetings; especially business meetings. But business meetings are important, and they can be unimaginably effective. This post will show you how to make your dream of effective business meetings come true with the following guidelines:
Have a proper plan: Even before you arrange for any business meeting, it is important to have an idea of how the meeting will progress. This makes the meeting more organized and time conserving.
We have all been in those meetings that were clearly unplanned, painfully slow and boring. Such meetings don’t yield many results and are often a waste of time. Having an unclear plan makes meeting attendees uninterested and demotivated.
Write down the complete meeting plan, make it known to all attendees, and try your best to keep to it.
Set goals: Before any business meeting, you should have specific and clear goals for the meeting. This is necessary to keep the meeting on track and prevent any diversions from the goal.
Create a friendly environment for participation: Start the meeting with introductions, especially if some members are unfamiliar with others. Encourage each member to talk about themselves. It could be just saying their names. It is also good to ask how their days went. It is also okay to inject some humor or appropriate jokes at the beginning of the meeting. Lighten up the environment and create a friendly environment that fosters participation.
Be observant: Always watch out for cutting or edgy remarks, anger or conflicts during meetings and control such situations on time. Opposing ideas often result in conflicts. Immediately you notice a conflict in ideas, handle the situation with care. It is important that you do not take any sides but remain neutral. Conflicts can defeat the purpose of the whole meeting and create a lot of tension in the environment.
Give room for questions: Always create time for questions to be asked as some meeting attendees could have unclarified problems and doubts. Questions provide some feedback and many times, they result in brilliant ideas. Treat questions with attention and do not view any as irrelevant. If questions are not consistent with the topic, write them out and assure the person who asked that you will get back to it.
Ask for suggestions: This is a very important part of the meeting. Here, you can present a problem and ask for suggestions. Encourage suggestions and use a body language that shows that you are interested in every suggestion made (Smile, nod, lean forward). Some people may prefer to write out suggestions rather than voicing them out in person. Provide room for that by administering suggestion forms. Remember that all suggestions are important. To encourage suggestions, you can encourage others to clap after every suggestion is made.
Provide breaks: Especially during lengthy meetings, attendees may become exhausted or overwhelmed by the number of things covered. Give them some time to take a break from the meeting.
Ask for feedback: It is a good idea to ask attendees if there are any problems they’re facing with their work or any discoveries they would like to share. Feedback forms should also be provided for people who may prefer to write rather than talk.
Listen to everyone: Always be attentive to all comments made by attendees. Minutes of the meeting should also be made to keep everything on the record. Give everyone a listening ear and indicate interest in their contributions and appreciation for them.
Snacks: Especially during lengthy meetings, snacks will be appreciated by the attendees.
Close the meeting: At the end of the meeting, thank everyone for their time. Also, briefly recap what was discussed and what was achieved during the meeting.
Holding effective meetings is possible. A huge part of a meeting’s success has to do with planning. If you can follow this guideline we provided in this article, you’ll be fine.
Do you have more tips? Let us know in the comment section.
Esther Alu, the Founder of TheAceBusiness.com is an entrepreneur who writes step-by-step guides for starting several business ideas. She is constantly learning and discovering effective ways to help her readers launch and grow successful businesses.