Meetings are an important part of your company's existence. Teams benefit when business meetings are run smoothly, produce tangible results, advance the organization's goals, and leave everyone feeling good about what was accomplished. It is possible to have your business meeting be something you actually look forward to and consider a major instigator for your company's success.
Here we present eight tips that are designed to enable your organization to run highly-effective meetings. We believe these meeting strategies will make it possible to generate practical, workable outcomes that will enhance the success of your business enterprise.
1) Plan In Advance
Regardless of their purpose, all meetings must come with adequate planning to create a workable and manageable agenda. Too many times, calling a meeting is an instinctive reaction to workflow issues or a complaint lodged by an employee, for example. Sometimes meetings are called in haste, without thought or consideration as to their goals and projected outcomes.
Keep in mind that business meetings are an ideal opportunity to resolve problems and find solutions to conflicts; however, it is essential that you think them through and plan first.
2) Set the Agenda
The agenda provides a compass for the conversations at your business meeting. It allows you to get back on track after a discussion wanders off course.
In preparation for your business meeting, it is important that you establish the scope and agenda. Otherwise, you have no sense of direction, and the business meeting could be easily derailed by random and extraneous comments.
Additionally, every participant has the right to know why there is a need for a business meeting and what they are supposed to be accomplishing. Your agenda will allow your team to come prepared for your meeting.
If your meeting doesn't have an agenda, some team members or stakeholders may walk out of the meeting or might not even attend.
"If I don't have an agenda in front of me, I walk out," said Annette Catino, chief executive of the QualCare Alliance Network. "Give me an agenda, or else I'm not going to sit there because if I don't know why we're in the meeting, and you don't know why we're there, then there's no reason for a meeting. It's very important to me to focus on people, keep them focused, and not just get in the room and talk about who won the Knicks game last night."
3) Start and End on Time
There is nothing worse than a business meeting being delayed. Meetings that start late can have a cascading effect that negatively impacts everyone's schedule for a day or even the week. You want to respect your colleagues and employees by always starting a business meeting on time.
Similarly, have a firm ending time for the meeting. This ensures that you can address all items on your agenda, and your teams can return to work promptly, which enhances their productivity. A definitive end time also helps set a brisk pace for the meeting, avoiding getting bogged down and running behind while important matters are yet to be addressed.
4) Use the Right Tools
For every business meeting, be sure you have in place all the necessary tools. They include a whiteboard, markers, pointers, and the appropriate technology.
An example of a tool playing an integral role in the success of a meeting is your project management tool. This tool allows you to enter tasks and projects collaboratively as a team during your meeting. Several notable project management tools include Asana, Monday, and Trello.
Your meeting has a good chance of being optimally effective if you leverage the right tools.
5) Take Notes
Even if your business meeting is short, make sure someone is designated to take notes. If not you as the manager or project leader, then identify a meeting participant to take notes dutifully. You also can utilize Google Docs or another shared document editing platform, so you know that all meeting participants are literally on the same page.
Here is a helpful format to help ensure you don't omit any vital aspects of your meeting's activities:
- Meeting time and date
- A copy of the agenda
- Participants' names
- Summary of the topics to be covered
- Action items
It is important to distribute the meeting notes and keep them in a centralized location with unlimited access, such as in Dropbox. You want meeting participants to be able to access the meeting notes from anywhere and at any time.
6) Invite the Right People
You should clearly understand how each person invited brings value to your business meeting. Ask yourself why each participant is there and what they might contribute.
It is worth noting that if key decision-makers or stakeholders are unable to make the scheduled business meeting, you should attempt to re-schedule it. For your employees who wish to attend but won't add value, offer to send them the meeting minutes.
7) End Meeting with an Action Plan
You never want to end a meeting without first generating action items. The last few minutes of your business meeting should be reserved for identifying the next steps. As part of the process for generating action items, assign an owner to each action item and give them a deadline.
The importance of assigning people to action items can't be overstated, according to Shellye Archambeau, chief executive of MetricStream, a firm that assists businesses in meeting their compliance standards.
"You own it," she said. "It becomes a very visible concept for ensuring that there's actual ownership to make sure things get done."
8) Solicit Feedback
At your business meeting, you want to validate the value that each team member/meeting participant brings. That is why it is important that you provide a forum for your participants to express their opinions regarding the effectiveness of your meetings.
This valuable feedback will enable you to find ways to improve the format and structure of your business meetings. Now you will also be empowered to better motivate and engage your team members, making for a more enthusiastic and productive meeting.
Hold Your Business Meeting at a Burbity Workspaces Meeting Room
At Burbity Workspaces, we offer meeting rooms that are fully equipped with all the necessities for you to run a highly effective meeting. Our meeting rooms provide you with comfortable seating, a large conference table, lightning-fast WiFi, Smart TV, and a whiteboard.
You can seat as many as 15 people comfortably in any one of our well-appointed meeting rooms.
When you have a need to have a meeting off-site, we invite you to contact Burbity Workspaces!