9 Tips to Conduct Productive Business Meetings
Business meetings are crucial aspects of an organization. It helps you keep a tab on the organization's processes and activities to reach its goals and objectives. It allows you to stay updated, discuss ideas, solve problems, make collective decisions, and also helps in team building.
No matter how small/big your organization's size is, business meetings would always be essential to evaluate and reach your targeted goals. Since the management or its employees cannot ignore business meetings, the best way is to balance and conducting productive business meetings that help both parties.
Some Shocking and Intriguing Statistics on Business Meetings
- More than $37 billion is spent on unproductive meetings.
- Per day there are 25 million meetings in the U.S.
- Collectively 15% of the organization’s time is spent in meetings.
- Employees spend 37% of their time in meetings.
- Managers attend more than 60 meetings per month.
- During a session, 39% of meeting participants admitted to dozing off.
- According to an estimated report, 25-50% of meeting time is wasted.
Here are the 9 Tips to Conduct Productive and Successful Business Meetings
1. Have a Clear Purpose:
Before you start your business meeting, the first thing you should start with is the purpose.
Have a clear purpose and why you want to conduct the meeting in the first place. Doing so will give you a clear perspective and help you with the proceedings.
What is your purpose? Whether you want to share information with a team, discuss new products and ideas or discuss a problem at hand, make sure you be clear with your purpose.
2. Set a Meeting Plan or Agenda:
Did you know, having a detailed agenda can reduce meeting time up to 80%?
Once you are clear with the purpose, you can create an agenda to achieve it. List the topics you want to discuss and allot specific duration to each subject, respectively. Send the schedule to the attendees beforehand to have a clear idea about the conference and prepare for it. Doing so will save time and also help attendees to prepare for it.
3. Set the Right Tone and Atmosphere:
For any manager or business leader, it is crucial to set the right tone for the meeting. You decide how you want your business meetings to be. It can be formal or informal. Create an atmosphere of mutual respect. Actively listen to the participants and respects their views and ideas.
Change the atmosphere if it seems essential. Often meetings are formal and a tedious affair. You can, therefore, have a themed meeting or go outdoors to lighten the atmosphere.
4. Start and End your Meeting on Time:
Employees are generally not very excited about business meetings. If you don't start and end your session on time, it gets worse. Put your extra effort to start and end your meeting on time.
Don't hold your meeting if any of your attendees fail to reach on time. This way, you would promote punctuality and sincerity in your workplace.
5. Let Everyone Participate:
The meeting is a collaborative process. Encourage everyone to participate, and share ideas and views. Respect everyone's inputs, perspectives. Encouraging communication and hearing everyone out would create a culture of respect and understanding. Let everyone participate and add value to problem-solving or collective decision-making.
6. Have Fun:
Nobody wants to attend a boring business meeting. Spice things up and bring humor to the atmosphere. Encourage attendees to communicate with each other. Since meetings can be hectic and tiresome, therefore keeping a light atmosphere would keep your employees engaged. Company discussions need not always necessarily be held seriously. It can also be done in a more fun and playful way to keep your attendees engaged.
7. Keep an Open Mind:
Don't drift from the original idea or purpose of your meeting. Stick to your agenda. But, remember to encourage new ideas and approaches from your attendees.
8. Allow Time for Questioning:
Questions wake people up. They prompt new ideas. They show people new places, new ways of doing things. -Michael Marquardt
Be approachable and ask questions. This would allow everyone to participate and also give open feedback. Questioning opens the door to creativity and provides a more precise result and understanding of the topics discussed. It encourages discussion, arouses interest, maintains learning, and helps summarize significant points.
9. Follow up, Take Actions and Evaluate:
Review the agreed actions and agreements and delegate specific tasks to the team members. Give particular deadlines to complete the given tasks. One of the most common discouraging situations after a business meeting is not having a structured follow-up. Often best of the ideas generated in the meeting never get accomplished. Therefore, it is imperative to have a good follow-up after the meeting to make it successful.
Evaluate and take feedback on how the meeting is received. Review regularly if the session is achieving its purpose. Suppose it does not then have open discussions to take immediate actions.
Effective business meetings are the ones that keep you engaged, provide you with the correct information, and give you a direction to achieve your goals and objectives. I hope the tips mentioned above help you achieve that and make your business meetings more productive and successful.
Comment below if you have some more practical tips or want to discuss the same.