Photo by: Fauxels via Canva
Have you ever left a business meeting and said to yourself, “Wow, that was a big waste of time!” Many businesspeople feel this way after leaving a meeting. We spend precious time in a conference room or in an online platform and many discussions take place. But at the end of the meeting nothing was actually accomplished! This happens all too often in our workplaces, mainly because the people leading these meetings don’t use a proper structure or tools to yield positive results. Also, meetings often take place unnecessarily.
What if there was a structure that would allow you to lead productive meetings and, more importantly, yield better business results?
Here are the four simple steps to get results from your business meetings:
Step one involves planning. The goal in planning is to ensure your meeting is both necessary and well structured. Has an objective been identified for the meeting? Have the logistics been addressed? Have the right people been invited? Are there any materials required? Have you created an agenda?
Step two focuses on the opening. A meeting needs to be opened properly using techniques that ensure people feel comfortable and are ready to work. Does everyone know one another? Do you need to use an icebreaker, and do you have enough time? Who will capture the discussion points and action items?
Step three involves facilitating. The goal is to facilitate the meeting skillfully using tools to brainstorm information, analyze and prioritize information, and make decisions. What facilitation tools will you use? How many? What tool can you use that fits the timeframe of the meeting? Is the method suitable for the group size? What questions will you ask? How will you manage group dynamics, energy, or conflict if it occurs?
Step four focuses on the closing. At the end of the meeting, everyone should be clear on the next steps and what action items need to be completed. Did the meeting meet its objective? What still needs to be done? Is a future meeting required? Who is responsible for each action item once the meeting ends?
Not only will these four steps bring you better business meeting results, but they will also enhance your credibility within the organization. You will be known as the person who gets things done! People will think positively about your meetings because they will be heard, they will be involved in the discussions, and they will be productive.
Our workplaces are busy. If we must take people away from their jobs, we’d better make sure our meetings shine!
What do you do to get the most from your business meetings?