Have you ever felt awkward, in business meetings?
Do you want to run away from these meetings?
Though you are ...
But, Remember that Meetings are the representation of you and your company; if you’re a client or a company owner then you must know that the way you behave in a business meeting is a sign of your company’s system and how you will be dealing with the other parties.
1. Is this meeting really ' required '?
Starting with the very first thing to consider – before you call a meeting, decide if you really need to hold one. Having a pointless meeting is not just a waste of your time, but that of everyone else attending.
2. Limited Invitees
Don’t invite unnecessary people just to make the meeting bigger and seem more important. It’s far more efficient to invite only those who can help you move forward. It also allows other people whose contribution isn’t required to get on with their work.
3. No more Personal Things
Business meetings are just that – about business. Most of those attending will appreciate a reminder to everyone at the start to stay on topic.
No more personal questions.
4. Time is Money
Respect everyone's time. To avoid inflicting this misery yourself, make it clear that your meeting will begin on time, then stick to the promise. You could also make it known that anyone who’s more than five minutes late won’t be allowed in to encourage prompt attendance.
5. Set an Agenda
Set an agenda you can clear in the time you’ve allocated, and stick to it. Also, partition the meeting so each point gets a reasonable amount of time assigned to it, tell everyone what this time scale is, and move on when the time is up.
6. Preparation is the key
Preparation is everything when it comes to a business meeting – having a meeting without a pre-determined structure is inviting problems. You’ll find everyone brings their own pet topics, whether they’re relevant to what you want to discuss or not, and any good ideas may get drowned in the noise.
Work with participants ahead of time to determine discussion topics, and from those, create and distribute an agenda so that everyone knows exactly what the meeting will cover.
7. It's all about Discussion
Healthy discussion is a great thing at meetings, but it’s easy for things to get out of hand. Meetings often involve people with very different personalities, and arguments can spring up. This can be the death knell for a productive meeting, so work to make sure conflict doesn’t occur.
If you take a respectful tone, others will follow suit. So even if someone is throwing every toy out of their pram, be the adult in the conversation and deal with it calmly but firmly.
8. Engage Everyone
No mobile phones, during the meetings. often you’ll find one or two people who disengage from the meeting and begin to chat among themselves. This is extremely disruptive and needs to be dealt with.
If you have to, halt the meeting to focus on their little chat – this should get their attention. When you have it, ask for their input to the main discussion, and keep returning to them at regular intervals to make sure they don’t lose track again.
9. Follow Up
You need to create a set of ‘takeaway’ points – a list of actions that have been agreed during the discussions, including details of who’s responsible for making sure particular issues are resolved or outcomes achieved.
Finally, make notes during the meeting. Every point on the agenda should come to a conclusion – and you should write it down while you have the input and agreement of those attending.
After the meeting, write up a post-event report setting out these actions and their owners, and distribute it to everyone who attended. You can then use it as a checklist to make sure your plans are on schedule.