Good business requires meeting etiquette since face-to-face communication improves decision-making. Business Meeting, on the other hand, frequently last longer than necessary and fail to engage attendees.
Whether you’re meeting with partners, vendors, or employees, these meeting essentials will help you shine in the boardroom.
Determine your goal. A clear goal will set the tone and determine the direction of the meeting. Your objective should be both specific and measurable. If you expect attendees to brainstorm, ask them to bring a list of ideas with them.
Consider whether a meeting is truly necessary. Meetings can be costly. To determine the exact cost, multiply the hourly wage of each person in attendance by the length of the gathering. Skip the meeting if your goal can be met via e-mail, conference call, Skype, or even a quick one-on-one discussion.
Decision-makers should be invited. The most effective Business Meeting include stakeholders so that decisions can be made quickly. If a key decision-maker is unable to attend, ask a subordinate to do so. Ideally, this person will be able to speak for their supervisor while also taking notes and reporting back.
Routine meetings to check in with employees and discuss status reports are usually completed in 15 minutes or less. If everyone stays standing, you’ll be more likely to keep the meeting brief and to the point.
Plan your time wisely. Avoid Monday mornings, when everyone is catching up on e-mail, if you want each meeting participant to be fully engaged. Avoid Friday afternoons as well, when employees are finishing up the week and looking forward to the weekend. Meetings should be held when attendees are most likely to attend.
Maintain a time restriction. Long meetings tire attendees. Limited attention spans cost money. On-time meetings work best.
Set priorities for the agenda. Don’t leave the most important issues until last. Discuss the most important issues first to ensure that the highest priority objectives are met. You’ll achieve your main goals even if someone leaves early.
Stick to the plan. The agenda is an outline—a framework—to keep everyone on track and the meeting flowing. The agenda should be kept to one page and should only include the main topics of discussion. Sidebar conversations are a waste of time. If participants continue to speak out of turn, intervene and suggest that they speak after the meeting or schedule a separate discussion. Then immediately return to the topic at hand.
Tell stories to convey concepts. Explain why a group should care when you present key concepts or new ideas, especially models that are difficult to understand. Use examples and frame the issue with a quick story.
Wrap it up nicely. After the meeting, rapidly review decisions, deadlines, and follow-up. Everyone in the meeting should know exactly what is expected of them. Schedule any follow-up meetings as soon as possible.
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