9 Tips to Conduct Productive Business Meetings
Business meetings are crucial aspects of an organization. It helps you keep a tab on the processes and activities an organization performs 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 an important aspect to evaluate and reach your targeted goals. Since business meetings cannot be ignored by the management or its employees, therefore the best way is to find a balance and conduct productive business meetings that help both the 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 meeting, 39% of meeting participants admitted to dozing off.
- According to 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. This 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 topic respectively. Send the agenda to the meeting attendees beforehand so that they have a clear idea about the meeting and can prepare for it. This 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 important to set the right tone for the meeting. You decide how you want your business meetings to be like. 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 important. Often meetings are formal and a boring 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 meeting 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. Let everyone participate in it. Let everyone share their ideas and views. Respect everyone’s input and their perspectives or take on the process. 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:
Don’t forget to 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 boring, therefore keeping a light atmosphere would keep your employees engaged. Company discussions need not always necessarily be held in a serious manner. 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. This also doesn’t mean to not encourage new ideas and approach from your attendees unless it's completely irrelevant. Or even if it is, respect their ideas and hold it for a different session.
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 feedbacks. Questioning opens the door to creativity and gives a clearer result and understanding of the topics discussed. It encourages the discussion, arouses interest, maintains learning and helps summarize major points.
9. Follow up, Take actions and Evaluate:
Review the agreed actions and agreements and delegate specific tasks to the team members. Give specific deadlines to complete the given tasks. One of the major 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 feedbacks on how the meeting is received. Review on a regular basis if the meeting is achieving its purpose. If it does not then have open discussions to take immediate actions.
Effective business meetings are the ones which keep you engaged, provide you with the right information and give you a direction to achieve your goals and objectives. I hope the above-mentioned tips help you achieve that and make your business meetings more productive and successful.
Do comment below if you have some more effective tips or want to have a discussion on the same.