Business meetings are an integral part of the business environment. They can be an excellent tool for discussing an idea, solving a problem, or making important decisions together. However, ineffectively planned and conducted meetings can waste a lot of time and resources.
So in this article, we're going to look at the key steps to effectively planning work meetings.
How to conduct effective meetings?
Determine the purpose of the meeting
To do this, imagine the expected result (a positive effect or changes that will result from solving an existing problem) and think about how it should be presented.
Examples of the final results of meetings:
- agreed plans are the result of the weekly meeting of the managers of different departments of the company units per week and coordination of mutual actions that will lead to the implementation of plans;
- the result of the meeting of the CEO with the heads of the unit is an agreed plan for achieving planned indicators for the next period for the unit;
- the result of general repeated meetings (morning meetings) is a high morale team, coordination and awareness of the entire team about goals and objectives.
Create a list of topics to discuss
Evaluate all topics and highlight 1-2 urgent/important ones among them. Ideally, you will discuss only one topic at one meeting. Yes, you and your employees will avoid defocus.
Prepare the necessary materials
These can be documents for perusal before the meeting, reports, etc. For typical repeated meetings there will always be the same set of documents in most cases, for example:
- financial report for a certain period;
- operational report on the action plan for the next period;
- tasks that are in the works.
Devote meetings to new ideas and adjustments to plans, not to informing each other about previous results – participants should familiarize themselves with them in the documents, preparing for the meeting.
However, remember that meeting participants should not take more than 1 hour to familiarize themselves with the documents.
Decide when the meeting will start
Do not announce the time of the meeting suddenly – on the day of its holding or even the day before. The sooner you notify the participants, the more likely the meeting will be successful. Don't treat the meeting as an opportunity to assert your authority by distracting employees from more important work.
If your team members are located in different parts of the world, you will need to choose a time that works for everyone in each time zone. If you can't find a time window that works for everyone, check to see if the appointment is absolutely necessary.
Invite important participants to the meeting
Make sure meeting invitations are sent to the right employees. Do not invite the entire team if you know that some members have higher priorities or are not participating in the project.
Engage all your colleagues with the leading remote meeting tools. You can hold a meeting, take notes, and send meeting emails to any team member both in and out of the office without context switching. Invite to the meeting those participants who are directly affected by the issues discussed during it. After all, productive meetings are the key to improving the effectiveness of team collaboration.
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With the right planning of work meetings, you can use your time efficiently and achieve more success in business. Effective meetings not only improve communication in the team, but also contribute to the rapid achievement of set goals. So remember to follow these steps when planning and conducting business meetings.